messenger

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don't kill the messenger

Don't get angry at or punish someone who is simply delivering bad or undesirable news as he or she is not responsible for it. A: "What do you mean I'm being sued by my ex-wife? I'll knock your lights out!" B: "Hey man, I'm just doing my job. Don't kill the messenger!"
See also: kill, messenger

don't shoot the messenger

Don't get angry at or punish someone who is simply delivering bad or undesirable news, as he or she is not responsible for it. A: "What do you mean I'm being sued by my ex-wife? I'll knock your lights out!" B: "Hey man, I'm just doing my job. Don't shoot the messenger!"
See also: messenger, shoot

shoot the messenger

  (humorous)
to blame or punish the person who tells you about something bad that has happened instead of the person who is responsible for it And now for tomorrow's weather - it's going to be cold, wet and stormy, but don't shoot the messenger!
See also: messenger, shoot
References in classic literature ?
As he spoke, a servant of Dawra came with food and drink for the strangers, and hearing how they spoke among themselves, he hastily and in wrath dashed the food upon the table, and returning to his master repeated to him the words of the messenger.
Leaving the room hurriedly, he ran into his own--opened his desk, wrote two hurried lines, which he directed to Sir Pitt or Lady Crawley, and bade the messenger carry them at once to Gaunt Street, bidding him to take a cab, and promising him a guinea if he was back in an hour.
He went back to the dining-room after dispatching his messenger and called for more wine.
Then he told how none could be found in all Nottingham Town to serve this warrant, for fear of cracked pates and broken bones, and how that he, the messenger, was now upon his way to Lincoln Town to find of what mettle the Lincoln men might be.
Now art thou the man for my farthing," cried the messenger.
Nay, nay," said the messenger, "no man is there in Nottinghamshire could make thee go against thy will, thou brave fellow.
Ay, marry," said the messenger, "thou art a brave lad; but our good Sheriff hath offered fourscore angels of bright gold to whosoever shall serve the warrant upon Robin Hood; though little good will it do.
So, after having paid their score, the messenger, with the Tinker striding beside his nag, started back to Nottingham again.
The knight whipped out his sword, but the Devil of Torn was even quicker, so that it seemed that the King's messenger had deliberately hurled his weapon across the room, so quickly did the outlaw disarm him.
I return to your tulip, Mynheer van Baerle, and as soon as it opens I will give you news, which being done the messenger will set out immediately.
As soon as it is open, I shall send a messenger to you, with the request that you will come and fetch it in person from the fortress at Loewestein.
On which the Messenger, to Alice's great amusement, opened a bag that hung round his neck, and handed a sandwich to the King, who devoured it greedily.
There's nothing but hay left now,' the Messenger said, peeping into the bag.
the King went on, holding out his hand to the Messenger for some more hay.
I'll whisper it,' said the Messenger, putting his hands to his mouth in the shape of a trumpet, and stooping so as to get close to the King's ear.