bite someone's head off(redirected from bite someone's nose off)
bite (one's) head off
To respond to someone with anger that is often sudden or unprovoked. What's wrong with the boss today? I just tried to ask him a question, and he totally bit my head off!
bite someone's head off
Also, snap someone's head off. Scold or speak very angrily to someone, as in Ask her to step down from the board? She'd bite my head off! The first expression, dating from the mid-1900s, replaced the much earlier bite someone's nose off (16th century); the variant was first recorded in 1886.
bite someone's head offor
snap someone's head offINFORMAL
If someone bites your head off or snaps your head off, they speak to you in an unpleasant, angry way, because they are annoyed about something. And don't bite my head off just because you're fed up! I don't know what's wrong with Julia but she snapped my head off just now.
bite (or snap) someone's head offreply sharply and brusquely to someone.
bite someone's head off, to
To respond angrily to a moderate or harmless request or remark. It appears to have replaced two earlier versions, to bite someone’s nose off, which dates back to the sixteenth century (“She would . . . bite off a man’s nose with an answere,” Thomas Nashe, 1599), and to snap someone’s head off, current in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.