Something close I have considered, but is not correct, is "Bite the hand that feeds you". The reason this is not correct is because this simply means someone (actively) treats their helper poorly, whereas the situation I want to cover is the person completely ignores or snubs them.

I am looking for an idiom if possible that means completely snubbing someone that once helped you, especially someone the perpetrator depended on, or had a lot of frequent contact with before, but only because the perpetrator wanted to use the helper for their own benefit and advantage, then abandoning them / disowning them after they are no longer of any help to the perpetrator.

Not looking for an idiom or word that describes the person (which would be an adjective), rather, I'd like a word or phrase that is a verb.


  • 1
    There is the fairly well known phrase "Throwing down the ladder by which they rose". Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 0:15
  • This seems to be from a political cartoon (not a famous idiom?) specific to America, although word for word it does sound really suitable. I have never heard of this phrase as an idiom/saying before, I wonder if people would interpret it correctly, seeing as though the definition is "hypocrisy of these new Americans [ie, people] and their willingness to oppress others who are in the same circumstances." [as they were], whereas I am more looking for "people who snub/ignore/spurn someone else who they owe a great deal of help to" (as opposed to thanking them). Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 1:09
  • I knew the phrase, or something very like it from a different context and not the cartoon. Indeed, I'd never seen the cartoon before! Not being known by me necessarily means it's a common phrase ... there are all sorts of weird things tucked away in my head! Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 8:56

3 Answers 3


Perhaps you're looking for jettison

Abandon or discard (someone or something that is no longer wanted)

Her group had left her, jettisoning her into oblivion for fear of attracting unwanted attention to themselves.



Apart from snubbing which is perfectly good you might consider casting aside as a means of ridding yourself of a friend that is no longer useful in your political climbing routine.

  • "Using and casting aside" would be how I'd describe it; there may be a more colorful idiom but that seems a common phrase.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 25 at 8:32
  • 'Snubbing' does not mandate (or even suggest, I'd say) the previous manipulation. Commented Jan 25 at 11:18

Ghosting or ghosted, depending on whether you are the ghoster or the ghostee. You may also consider terms such as hustle or swindle, or a phrase such as "extort and abort".

  • You should include a dictionary definition of ghosting. Commented Jan 25 at 5:36

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