Throw under the bus: Meaning, synonyms & origin + 9 example sentences

What does “Throw under the bus” mean?

“Throw under the bus” means to misuse a person, a friend or other people; for the sake of one’s own benefit. It means to break faith, or to be disloyal with someone. In other words, the idiom means to cheat, trick and to criticize someone for personal gains. To declare that someone or something is responsible for a fault or gain advantage over something by using unfair or deceitful methods.

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9 examples of how to use “Throw someone under the bus” in a sentence

  • I am a humanist and I care about my friends; I can’t throw someone under the bus for the sake of my promotion.
  • I have been advised by my parents to not throw someone under the bus for personal gains.
  • When it comes to dehumanized politics, all the politicians throw other politicians under the bus.
  • She was beautiful and I was in love with her but suddenly I realized that she had thrown me under the bus.
  • If you are thinking that by throwing someone under the bus you can be successful then this would be a foolish act.
  • Throughout the world history, strong nations had thrown developing nations under the bus.
  • He was part of our organization but suddenly he threw our organization under the bus for personal gains.
  • Throwing someone under the bus is not a good habit; one must be gentle in his dealings.
  • She had already thrown me under the bus, I can’t trust her more!
  • I can’t be loyal with her again because she had thrown me under the bus.
  • Several times he had thrown me under the bus, I can’t trust him.

The origin of “Throw under the bus”

The origin of the idiom “throw under the bus” is quite skeptical, no one exactly knows about its origin. According to some sources, there are possibilities that this idiom has been originated from Britain around the late 1970s and early 1980s.

On the other hand, there are some clues related to the origin of this idiom; there are a few prints available which have been used under different contexts and meanings. The phrase with its present idiomatic utilization can be found back to June 21, 1982, which has been used in an idiomatic manner published by “The Times in British politics” which was an English newspaper. It was used in this form: “The Conservative benches listened to her in silence. She was in deep trouble and the lobbies hummed with the prospect of her departure. President Galtieri had pushed her under the bus which the gossips had said was the only means of her removal.” – Julian Critchley, The Times (London, English), 21 June 1982”.

The phrase throughout the history has been seen in many other forms, two other forms of this phrase are: “push under the bus” and “shove under the bus”.

Synonyms for “Throw under the bus”

Misuse, disloyal, cheat, trick, unfair, deceit, deceiving, selfish, self centered, unfaithful, self interest.

Idioms related to “Throw under the bus”

  • Play someone false
  • Sell down the river
  • Pull the wool over someone’s eyes
  • Bite the hand that feeds you
  • Drive someone up on a wall
  • Blow smoke up someone’s ass
  • Blow smoke in eyes
  • Get someone’s dander up
  • A vicious cycle