a barking dog never bites

a barking dog never bites

proverb One who regularly makes angry or threatening statements rarely acts upon them. Mr. Stewart may yell a lot, but I doubt he'll do anything to you—a barking dog never bites.
See also: bark, bite, dog, never
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

barking dog never bites

Prov. Someone who makes threats all the time seldom carries out the threats. Old Mrs. Smith keeps saying she'll call the police if we walk on her lawn, but don't worry. A barking dog never bites. My boss threatens to fire me at least once a week, but a barking dog never bites.
See also: bark, bite, dog, never
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

A barking dog never bites

Making threats but not carrying them out. The idea that a dog that vocalizes disapproval will not attack is more poetry than truth, as an examination of any hospital emergency room records will show. This anecdote is relevant: a candidate for local political office went from door to door to solicit votes. Ringing a doorbell, he was greeted by a woman restraining a large dog that was barking loudly. When the candidate hesitated, his assistant encouraged him to stay, saying, “Don't you know the proverb ‘a barking dog never bites'?” “Yes,” said the candidate, “I know the proverb, and you know the proverb, but does the dog know the proverb?” (Barking dogs figure in another phrase: “My dogs are barking” means that my feet hurt.)
See also: bark, bite, dog, never
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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