bone to pick

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a. The dense, semirigid, porous, calcified connective tissue forming the major portion of the skeleton of most vertebrates. It consists of a dense organic matrix and an inorganic, mineral component.
b. Any of numerous anatomically distinct structures making up the skeleton of a vertebrate animal. There are more than 200 different bones in the human body.
c. A piece of bone.
2. bones
a. The skeleton.
b. The body: These old bones don't do much dancing anymore.
c. Mortal remains: His bones are buried up on the hill.
3. An animal structure or material, such as ivory, resembling bone.
4. Something made of bone or of material resembling bone, especially:
a. A piece of whalebone or similar material used as a corset stay.
b. bones Informal Dice.
5. bones The fundamental plan or design, as of the plot of a book.
a. bones Flat clappers made of bone or wood originally used by the end man in a minstrel show.
b. Bones(used with a sing. verb) The end man in a minstrel show.
7. Vulgar Slang The penis.
v. boned, bon·ing, bones
1. To remove the bones from: bone a fish.
2. To stiffen (a piece of clothing) with stays, as of whalebone.
3. Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse with. Used especially of a man.
Vulgar Slang To have sexual intercourse.
Phrasal Verb:
bone up
Informal To study, often in preparation for an anticipated event: boned up for the final exam.
bone of contention
The subject of a dispute.
bone to pick
Grounds for a complaint or dispute.
in (one's) bones
In one's innermost feelings: knew in my bones that I was wrong.
to the bone
To an extreme degree: was chilled to the bone; cut the budget to the bone.

[Middle English bon, from Old English bān.]

bone to pick

A grievance or complaint; from the idea of picking all of the meat from a bone until none is left.
References in classic literature ?
I've more than a little bone to pick with Bryce," called Henry from the inner chamber.
Hang was identified by Harris Teeter as a former contractor with a bone to pick with the company.
Your dog may have a bone to pick with you if a bad treat leads to stomach or bowel obstruction, choking, mouth wounds, vomiting, diarrhoea or internal bleeding, the FDA says.
She also has a bone to pick with him concerning painkillers that he picked up at the medical centre.
GARBINE MUGURUZA, beaten finalist two years ago, has a bone to pick with her landlords after her cooking caused a stir.
Within minutes Kong appears and he has a bone to pick with intruders creeping around on his turf.
Now, the latest group to have a bone to pick with Baron Cohen are the people of Grimsby - the settling for his new movie which takes its title from the Lincolnshire town.
Now, the latest group to have a bone to pick with the comedian are the people of Grimsby.
Most stuck with simple, direct messages of "Refugees Welcome," while others got more pointed with England's government, including one sign, which seemed to have a clear bone to pick with England's conservative party, "Can we swap the Tory Party for 100,000 refugees?
Yes, the gunman committed suicide and yes he was disgruntled and had a bone to pick with the reporter, but the reality is that this event might never have escalated to an on-air tragedy and a clip that will live for notoriety and posterity in the digital world of YouTube were it not for the killer's easy access to a weapon.
You may think the church hierarchy would have a bone to pick with Lallemand.