I came across the phrase ‘toss a bone’ in the headline of the New York Times article (July 15) in its Business section that reads “As a Watchdog Starves, Wall Street Is Tossed a Bone.”
I checked dictionaries at hands to find no entry of this idiom, though I found ‘cast a bone between’ and ‘throw a bone,’ neither of which seems to be near ‘toss a bone.’
In this search, I found the phrase appearing in the lyrics of Confederate Railroad in Youtube that goes:
"So toss a little bone to the working man
Make it a law that we all get a raise
And prices go a little l..."
From the context of the headline of NYT article and the foregoing Confederate Railroad lyrics, I guess ‘toss a bone’ implies ‘to give a bate, or little reward (incentive) to somebody.’ Am I right?
Is ‘toss a bone to somebody’ a popular English (or American) phrase apart from the Confederate Railroad’s song?.