someone's bark is worse than their 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

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
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