bite someone's head off

(redirected from bite someone's nose off)

bite (one's) head off

To respond to one in an extremely angry and forceful manner 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!
See also: bite, head, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: bite, head, off
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.

bite someone's head off

or

snap someone's head off

INFORMAL
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.
See also: bite, head, off
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

bite (or snap) someone's head off

reply sharply and brusquely to someone.
See also: bite, head, off
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
See also: bite, head
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
A court heard Martin threatened to bite someone's nose off after being asked to move on from outside a business in the city and he was banned on June 16.
A TRIO of aggressive beggars, including a man who threatened to bite someone's nose off after being told to move on, have been banned from Newcastle city centre.
Colin Martin threatened to bite someone's nose off after |he was asked to move away from a city centre business
Our translator Dragan breathed a sigh of relief as he told me: "Once I saw him bite someone's nose off - he's an animal."
But Mr Justice Royce said: 'I accept there may be a degree of provocation outside the Colliers but to bite someone's nose off is a very serious matter indeed.'