The English language is one that is constantly evolving, with words changing the meaning and their context seemingly with every new generation. There are words and phrases that come out of the blue meaning one thing, only to mean something else entirely in a decade. Other phrases, like the one we will talk about today, are inspired by a popular catchphrase, grown as a sort of tongue in cheek. This phrase is “Bite me”.
What does “Bite me” mean?
“Bite me” is an informal phrase which is used to express contempt for or defiance against someone. “Bite me” can be defined as an expression which you say to someone because you are embarrassed or annoyed by something that person has said to you. Generally speaking, “Bite me” is an extremely informal expression that is used mostly in American English.
Where does “Bite me” originate from?
The origin of “Bite me” is actually quite vulgar. It was in the late 40s and early 50s that a popular exclamation amongst teenage boys appeared. They used the expression to show their extreme disapproval with actions or statements made by others, teenagers and sometimes adults like teachers. The raunchy phrase was “suck my ****”. While this phrase was never said directly to a teacher, considering the consequences, they did tell their friends what they would have liked to tell their English teacher, for instance to “Suck my ****”.
During the 50s, it was seen as a homophobic phrase and given that during that time, nobody wanted to be labelled as gay or a “homo”, saying “Suck my ****” to someone meant that they were gay or a “homo”. “Suck my ****” was actually a short form of the phrase with “Suck my ****, you little homo” being the complete expression.
It was this expression that was the source of two other expressions “It sucks” or “You suck”. Over the last couple of years “Bite me” emerged as the less vulgar and more appropriate shorthand variant of “Suck my ****”. “Bite me” has been sanitised to the point that even people on the radio have used the expression without having to worry about loosing their jobs or being cancelled.
3 examples of using “Bite me” in a sentence
Using “Bite me” to show annoyance at what someone has just said to you
“What did you do to your hair, it looks like a birds nest?
“Bite me! I actually think my hair looks lovely”
“I am just giving my own opinion, if you don’t like it, well then you can bite me!”
“Why is there another lockdown? It just doesn’t make sense. You know what the government can do… they can bite me!”
Using “Bite me” to feign annoyance at what someone said
This example is similar to the first, in that you are responding to what someone said, however, using “Bite me” in this instance is more of a tongue in cheek, as you aren’t really annoyed and somewhat see the funny side to what that person said.
She looked at her from her feet all the way up to her hair, with a somewhat amusing look on her face and said “I hope you aren’t going out of the house looking like that. I knew you were fashionably challenged but good god…” and let out a chuckle. Jane gave back a sarcastic smile and said “Oh shut it. I believe I’m actually quite sexy and last time I checked, your crush didn’t seem to mind my fashion sense. You know what you can do… bite me” and they both let out the laughs they had tried holding in.
“Yes, it needs a bit of work and if you are one of those people very particular about spelling, you can bite me”
Using “Bite me” in a literary sense
In this instance, you actually aren’t responding to anyone, rather you are highlighting the feeling felt by someone when “Bite me” is used. This instance is usually used when writing. A few examples are:
“Bite me!” I yelled in response.”
“I’m going to my single bed to wallow in my bitterness now, so bite me.”
“So I guess I’m a little bit predictable, bite me”
“We drink and merry so we can look out into the nothingness and scream “Bite me!””
“He stuck his tongue out at her, but there was no anger or venom in his words, “Oh bite me”
“You can bite me. I’m still going to do whatever I want with my car”
“What has happened will continue to happen, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. If you have a problem with it, you can bite me”
“Nothing captures the feeling of “I don’t care what you think” like the phrase “Bite me”