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burn your bridges | burn your boats

This page is about the idiom burn your bridges | burn your boats.

Meaning: You have burned your bridges, or burned your boats, if you were in a situation and you then left it after doing something that made it impossible to go back there.

For example:

  • If you insult the boss when you leave, you'll be burning your bridges and you'll never be able to go back to work there again.

  • I knew I'd be burning my boats if I dropped out of school, but I didn't care because I was determined to be a photographer.

Note: "Burn your bridges" is used in most varieties of English, while "burn your boats" is used mostly in British and Australian English.

Quick Quiz:

You'll be burning your bridges if you

a. save your money while working in a bank

b. steal a customer's money while working in a bank

c. borrow some money while working in a bank

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey