(one's) bark is worse than (one's) bite

(one's) bark is worse than (one's) bite

One's words or demeanor is worse than one's actual behavior. Mr. Stewart may yell a lot, but his bark is worse than his bite—he's actually helped me carry my groceries many times. Don't worry about Sarah's threats. Her bark is worse than her bite.
See also: bark, bite, worse
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

bark is worse than one's bite, one's

A person seems more hostile or aggressive than is the case, as in Dad sounds very grouchy in the morning, but his bark's worse than his bite. This phrase was a proverb by the mid-1600s.
See also: bark, worse
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

your bark is worse than your bite

If someone's bark is worse than their bite, they seem to be much more severe or unfriendly than they really are. My bark is definitely worse than my bite. When people get to know me, they'll tell you I'm just a big softy really.
See also: bark, bite, worse
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

someone's bark is worse than their bite

someone is not as ferocious as they appear or sound.
A similar association between barking and biting occurs in the proverb a barking dog never bites , which can be traced back through 13th-century French (chascuns chiens qui abaie ne mort pas , dogs that bark don't bite) to Latin (canem timidum vehementius latrare quam mordere , a timid dog barks more furiously than it bites).
See also: bark, bite, worse
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bark is worse than one's bite

One sounds much fiercer than one actually is. Listed in the Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, this saying dates back at least to the mid-seventeenth century and is used often enough to be a cliché.
See also: bark, bite, worse
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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