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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    take the bit between one's teeth

    Hello,

    Can I use the idiom "take the bit between one's teeth" in the following context?

    Actually, everything was fine until yesterday. We were on intimate terms. Whatever decision we were to make, we always reached a heartfelt consensus. Whatever happened happened last night. He was no longer as intimate as he used to be. He began making any decisions on his own. He didn't even listen to me once. Apparently he took the bit between his teeth (=became disobedient).

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: take the bit between one's teeth

    No. "to take the bit between one's teeth" means to face up to a difficult task and just get on with it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #3

    Re: take the bit between one's teeth

    If he did take the bit between the teeth in those circumstances, he probably broke the relationship off.

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: take the bit between one's teeth

    Turkish, my native language, has exactly the same idiom, but we use it in a different sense from you're saying. The Turkish version is more to do with becoming disobedient or making independent decisions.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: take the bit between one's teeth

    I could just about make a case for it meaning to make an independent decision but definitely not for being disobedient.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #6

    Re: take the bit between one's teeth

    The bit is designed to control a horse, so it is not about disobedience to us.

  7. Moderator
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    #7

    Re: take the bit between one's teeth

    Quote Originally Posted by gamechanger View Post
    Turkish, my native language, has exactly the same idiom, but we use it in a different sense from you're saying. The Turkish version is more to do with becoming disobedient or making independent decisions.
    I wonder if the Turkish expression might not mean Take the bit out of one's mouth. In the English expression, "take" means accept, not ​remove.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. Newbie
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    #8

    Re: take the bit between one's teeth

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The bit is designed to control a horse, so it is not about disobedience to us.
    Yes, but when a horse takes the bit between his teeth, he gets out of control and runs so fast that his rider cannot stop him.

  9. Skrej's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: take the bit between one's teeth

    The English version does have more to do with taking control of a situation. We extend that to mean starting or getting on with a task, because we're taking control of the situation and starting, instead of doing nothing, and we're doing so in a decisive or controlling manner.

    Normally the bit rides behind a horse's molars, in the corners of a mouth. When a horse tries to fight that by tightening their gums or lips (they rarely actually put the bit in their teeth), they're trying to wrest control from the rider.

    Still, I don't think it's quite the right idiom for the example sentence.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  10. Newbie
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    #10

    Re: take the bit between one's teeth

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I wonder if the Turkish expression might not mean Take the bit out of one's mouth. In the English expression, "take" means accept, not ​remove.
    Your post escaped my notice. No. That's not the case. I thought take meant place here.

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