Bred in the bone. A part of one's nature. “What's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh.” A natural propensity cannot be repressed. Naturam furcâ expellas, autem usque redibit.
Bone of Contention
A disputed point; a point not yet settled. The metaphor is taken from the proverb about “Two dogs fighting for a bone,” etc.
Deucalion, after the Deluge, was ordered to cast behind him the bones of his mother, i.e. the stones of mother earth. Those thrown by Deucalion became men, and those thrown by his wife, Pyrrha, became women. Pindar suggests that laas, a stone, is a pun on laos, the people. Both words, in the genitive case singular, are alike laou. (Olynthics, ix. 66.)
Bone to pick
(A). A sop to Cerberus. A lucrative appointment given to a troublesome opponent in order to silence him. Thus Chisholm Anstey was sent to Hong-Kong as a judge to keep him away from the House of Commons Of course the allusion is to throwing a bone to a dog barking at you.
“In those days the usual plan to get rid to an oratorical patriot in the House was to give him `a bone to pick.' ” —Anthony Collins.
I have a bone to pick with you. An unpleasant matter to settle with you. At the marriage banquets of the Sicilian poor, the bride's father, after the meal, used to hand the bridegroom a bone, saying, “Pick this bone, for you have taken in hand a much harder task.”
(See Albadara; Luz; Os Sacrum.)
(To). To filch, as, I boned it. Shakespeare (2 Henry VI., act i. 3) says, “By these ten bones, my lord ...” meaning his ten fingers; and (Hamlet, iii. 2) calls the fingers “pickers and stealers.” Putting the two together there can be no doubt that “to bone” means to finger, that is, “to pick and steal.”
You thought that I was buried deep Quite decent-like and chary, But from her grave in Mary-bone, They've come and boned your Mary!
Hood: Mary's Ghost.
Lace woven on bobbins made of trotter-bones.
(A ). A four-wheel cab; also an old bicycle.
“A good swift hansom is worth twice as much as a `bone-shaker' any day.” —Nineteenth Century, March, 1893, p. 473.
I boned him. Caught or seized him. (See above, Bone.)
The man who rattles or plays the bones in nigger troupes.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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