I often come across the phrase bite me in many TV shows. What does it mean and is there a specific context in which this phrase can be used?

  • You didn't have to write it like an epistle!:):) – Thursagen May 30 '11 at 8:03
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    My shiny metal... – Chris B. Behrens Nov 18 '11 at 20:20
  • I found another Shakespeare ref for you; v.i. – tchrist Jan 10 '12 at 19:12
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    How's that a dilemma? – RegDwigнt Aug 13 '12 at 8:35
  • Shouldn't someone have ended their answer with "If you don't like my answer, bite me!" – Barmar Aug 4 '14 at 20:41

Here is according to Wikipedia:

Bite me is typically used as a US idiomatic expression of discontent or annoyance with another party

According to the Online Slang Dictionary:

a command, similar to "Go to hell!" (i.e. "Leave me alone!" "Go away!" etc.) Note: not considered especially vulgar, but usually considered inappropriate in more formal settings.

Cambridge Online Dictionary tells us how to use it:

used to say to someone that they have made you feel angry or embarrassed

It can also be used as a statement of contempt, or defiance.

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    Good answer, but for clarity I want to mention that in my experience, "bite me" is much less intense of a phrase than "go to hell". You kinda mention this, but I want to emphasize that often this phrase is often said as a super soft version of "stuff it". – BBischof May 30 '11 at 13:57

I’m afraid this actually is a minced oath, because it’s a cleaned-up version of “eat me”, itself deriving from “suck my dick/cock” — which gives the answer to your question about what body part is being referred to. It also shows why you didn’t find ladies who used the expression.

The Wiki Answers site explains this in rather vivid detail, of which a portion is:

The origin of “bite me” is pretty raunchy. In the late Forties and early Fifties a popular exclamation among teenage boys who wanted to indicate their extreme disapproval with statements or actions made by other teenage boys and sometimes adults, such as teachers, was “suck my dick!” Of course, they never actually said such a thing directly to a teacher. They told their friends that they would like to tell Mr. Jones, the math teacher, to “suck my dick!” But they never actually did so.

Possibly, it was homophobic, since no male in 1950 wanted to be thought of as a “homo”, the then popular term for someone who was gay. If you said “suck my dick” to another male the implication was that your interlocutor was a “homo”. Interestingly, “homo” was usually preceded by the word “little”, as in you “little homo!” So the complete expression was usually: “Suck my dick, you little homo!”

The expression gave rise to two other expressions: “You suck!”; or the ubiquitous “It sucks!”. In the last several years “bite me” has emerged as a cleaned up and shorthand version of “suck my dick!” It has in fact become so sanitized that I've heard talk show hosts on the radio use the expression without feeling their jobs were in jeopardy.

I can confirm that this really is the sense of term from 40 years ago. It somewhat surprises me that people now no longer connect it to its vulgar roots.

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    While plausible, the Wiki Answers entry you reference has no sources itself; if you can dig up a reference to this phrase from the '50s that indicates it formerly held these connotations, it would improve this answer considerably. – Shog9 Aug 13 '12 at 23:34
  • in "the big bang theory" actually penny (female) use this expression a lot. – Mosijava Apr 6 at 6:50

Meaning and usage as described by Third Idiot, but I always understood it to be short for bite my crank (that is, for suck my cock) — intended in a demeaning way, but its usage may have softened over time.

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    I have never heard "bite my crank", and would not know that "crank" was in any way a variant of "cock". However, it does ring true that "bite me" evolved from "suck my cock". My understanding of the evolution was there was a shift from "suck" to "bite" simply by virture of both being tethered to the concept of the use of the mouth. The words merely changed because people are always looking for variants and flourishes when it comes to slang hostilities. – Questioner Aug 13 '12 at 3:20
  • Plausible history here: english.stackexchange.com/a/78100/10974 – Questioner Aug 13 '12 at 3:25

Here is an article on the subject that offers some insight. Apparently bite it is the originating term, along with eat it, and, where a location for the snack is specified, it does seem to be in the posterior region, though not exclusively so.

The Urban Dictionary also suggests that it is a minced oath for blow me, but they offer no supporting documentation.

Shakespeare is nowhere to be found.

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    Shakespeare is most certainly to be found! The reference is from The Tempest (1623) II. ii. 10 — ‘Sometime like Apes, that moe and chatter at me, And after bite me.’ – tchrist Jan 10 '12 at 19:11
  • Note: your answer has been merged here from english.stackexchange.com/questions/48838/…, as both questions are seeking answers to the meaning and usage of this phrase. You might wish to adjust your answer to fit the somewhat-broader focus of this question. – Shog9 Aug 13 '12 at 23:30

This phrase was used by the girls (to each other in that vein). When any two girls got into a hot fight it was like saying eat my cunt. Heard it all the time since 1955, but the guys used it much more often. This was in the Chicago area.

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  • This remark is particularly provocative when delivered by a woman to a man. For men it's best not to take the bait. – user3847 Apr 5 '15 at 1:40

The basic meaning I see is "Deal with it," as in "I have the upper hand, and you can't do a thing against what I'm doing." It's something you'll say to an angry driver once you've rudely cut in front of them, or to a person who just noticed they sealed a bargain that is definitely unprofitable for them and now they demand you back out of it.

The implication is not just a rude "suck my dick" thing which is used as a more generic expletive. It implies you are already the sucker, and the most you can do about it is to bite.

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  • While you can use the phrase when you mean "deal with it", I am of the opinion that it most emphatically doesn't mean "deal with it", but instead is closer to when you don't like what the other person has said or done, and express your contempt. It's really not different than "eff you" (sorry, I can't bring myself to say it). – ErikE Nov 27 '12 at 9:04

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