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a nail-biter

1. Literally, someone who bites their fingernails, especially due to nervousness or agitation. I was a nail-biter at a young age, and, try as I might, I've never managed to shake the habit completely.
2. By extension, a situation, especially a competitive one, whose outcome is particularly close or uncertain and marked by nervous apprehension. Did you catch the football match last Sunday? Man, what a nail-biter! With how close these two candidates are, this election is sure to be a real nail-biter in its final moments.

the biter (is) bit

A person who has committed wrongs is now experiencing the same kind of torment, adversity, etc. Looks like the biter bit. She's always bullied me, and now she's getting a taste of her own medicine. Ah, the biter is bit! A prankster deserves to be the target of his own tricks once in a while.
See also: bit, biter

rug rat

Sl. a small child, especially an infant or toddler. (Also a term of address.) You got any rug rats at your house? Hey, you cute little rug rat, come over here.
See also: rat, rug

the biter gets bit

You say the biter gets bit to mean that someone suffers as a result of their own actions, especially when they were intending to hurt someone else. Sympathy seldom abounds when the biter gets bit. Note: `Biter' is an old word meaning a swindler (= person who cheats people out of money).
See also: bit, biter, get

the biter bit (or bitten)

a person who has done harm has been harmed in a similar way.
Biter was a late 17th-century term for a fraudster or trickster. In this sense it now survives only in this phrase.
2000 Locus The most common plot device in Lee's stories is the classic ‘biter bitten’ resolution.
See also: bit, biter

the biter ˈbit

the person who wanted to do harm, cheat somebody, etc., has harm done to them, is cheated, etc: It was a case of the biter bit — she’d tried to make him look foolish and ended up being ridiculed herself.
See also: bit, biter


1. n. a thief. (see also bite.) Some biter made off with my algebra book.
2. n. someone who copies someone else. (From the first sense.) That’s my steelo, you biter!

rug rat

and ankle biter
n. a child. Hey, you cute little rug rat, come over here. I got three little ankle biters at home.
See also: rat, rug

ankle biter

See also: ankle, biter
References in periodicals archive ?
Unlike other pest traps, Biter Fighter is small, weighs only 10 pounds fully loaded and is safe enough to use indoors or out.
Ideal Bite's success lies in the sassy, non-preachy attitude and its pledge to help followers save time by finding the best products, save money through energy efficiencies, and be eco-hip with what's new and cool, all while building a community where Biters can "dish" about the day's tip, share additional tips, and be entertained with small, ideal bites of environmentalism.
The Biters are on an upward trajectory and enjoying every minute of it.
If money isn't an issue, the company sells a monolithic mosquito lamp ($259) guaranteed to keep biters on the run.
Big biters like Tyrannosaurus had a more consistent biting performance along the entire tooth row.
But the Biters strike back with fancy footwork and ball handling skills that keep the packed stadium cheering for more
Satisfying as it is to see the biters bit, the film doesn't resort to insulting the audience's intelligence in reaching its unlikely resolution.
The most frequent biters, the study found, were unneutered, male German shepherds and chow chows.
Dogs that haven't been properly socialized, receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time frequently turn into biters.
Of course, the biters immediately could be rendered, since rehabilitation seems unlikely.
And 10,000 nacho-nibblers from Southern California will test their mettle against 70,000 bratwurst biters for Notre Dame.
ANKLE BITERS Forget boobs or bums - ankles are the new erogenous zone, say style gurus.
CDNOW is also offering Missy Elliott fans a special opportunity to create their own remixes of Missy Elliott's new single "Beat Biters," from her acclaimed new album Da Real World.
O-3's management plans to use their knowledge, key relationships and contacts to provide a new and distinct method for small and medium-sized developers to publish and distribute fresh game content in three easily identifiable brands: Macaroni Media for children's educational and entertainment titles, Ankle Biters for "E" and "T" audiences and Total Chaos for more challenging "T" and "M" rated games with intense graphics.