Take The Bit between your teeth

Previous Page

Take The Bit between your teeth : Phrases


Take control of a situation.



A bit is a mouthpiece that is used to control a horse's movements. It is normally fitted so that pressure on the reins presses the bit against the soft parts of the horse's mouth, causing it to turn its head. This expression alludes to a horse biting on the bit and taking control away from the rider.

The earliest known use of the phrase is in John Dryden's satirical poem The Medal, 1682:

But this new Jehu spurs the hot-mounted horse,
Instructs the beast to know his native force,
To take the bit between his teeth and fly
To the next headlong steep of anarchy.

Phrases Index

From Take The Bit to HOME PAGE

privacy policy