When they throw meat to the dog, he forgets the bread and salt (companionship one had with someone else).

This Syrian phrase is said to someone who throws away years of friendship and gregarious company with someone or people, and betrays, abandons or leaves them etc.

Imagine being with someone who you've shared many meals with; you have both been through the good and the bad, the happy and bitter times, simply everything. Arabs value companionship like no other. It is considered shameful if someone leaves his longtime companion when the going gets tough, or when he is abased, when he is down after he was at the top. We say he is a man of companionship, he who honours friendship and really cares.

Is there anything like this in English especially pertaining the second part 'forgets the bread and salt'?

  • Bread is referring to the bread they broke.
  • Salt can refer to the bad they went through together somehow. It's a cultural thing.
  • 1
    It should be either "throw meat" or "throw a piece of meat". I don't know of any English idiom that has the same sense as you describe.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 2:07
  • Nothing about throwing away the companionship you had with someone?
    – Khalid Itb
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 2:16
  • Would this saying also be applicable to the stereotypical middle-aged man who divorces his wife of many years to run off with his much younger and prettier secretary? That's the closest trope I can think of in English. Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 10:56

2 Answers 2


You might call such a person a fair-weather friend:

One who is friendly, helpful, or available only when it is advantageous or convenient to be so.



Someone who would make this kind of a "switch" will "trade you in for a new model."

The new "model" was originally a reference to a car, but could mean new friend, lover, whatever.

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