burn (one's) boats

burn (one's) boats

To do something that cannot be easily undone or reversed in the future. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I think you burned your boats when you announced you were quitting and proceeded to insult your boss in front of the whole staff. She's young, so I don't think she realizes that she'll be burning her boats if she goes to work for their competitor.
See also: boat, burn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

burn your boats (or bridges)

commit yourself irrevocably.
In a military campaign, burning your boats or bridges would make escape or retreat impossible.
See also: boat, burn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

burn one's bridges/boats, to

To commit oneself to an irreversible course of action, without possibility of backing down. The expression comes from ancient military history, when soldiers crossing a river literally burned the bridge or boats they had used in order to cut off the possibility of retreat. A cliché by the nineteenth century, the expression has invited a number of humorous twists, such as “Never burn your bridges till you come to them” (Stanley Walker, 1941). See also cross the Rubicon.
See also: bridge, burn, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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