take the bit in (one's) mouth(redirected from take the bit in their mouths)
take the bit in (one's) mouth
To do or begin doing something with decisive, independent resolve. A reference to a horse that is no longer under the rider's control because the bit (part of the apparatus used to guide it) is out of place in its mouth. You have such potential, Sophie—if you ever just took the bit in your mouth, you'd be on of the top students in this class. Rather than kowtowing to the president's public frustrations, the attorney general has taken the bit in his mouth and pressed on with the criminal investigation.
take the bit in one's mouth
Also, take the bit between one's teeth. Throw off restraints and proceed on a headlong course, take control. For example, My partner took the bit in his mouth and bid a grand slam, or Jane took the bit between her teeth and now there's no stopping her. This idiom alludes to the bit, the metal mouthpiece of a bridle whereby a rider controls a horse. [c. 1600]