Make Your Editor Cry: Biting time or Binding time vs. Biding time

Make Your Editor Cry:  Biting time or Binding time vs. Biding time

To bide is to wait, to tolerate, or to withstand.

Biding your time means that you are either spending your time carefully in a planned out manner–like you are relishing your time–or else that you are waiting for something to take place before taking action.

Does it sound kind of strange to say you’re “biting” time? It is strange—and it doesn’t make logical sense.

To bind is to tie up, to make secure, or to restrain so as to prevent movement. It can make sense to enter into a binding contract or to bind two beams together, but does it makes sense to bind time?

If you’re trying to say you’re waiting for something to happen, tolerating circumstances until the proper time comes to take action, or withstanding something until circumstances change, then you’re biding your time, not biting it or binding it.

The correct expression is “biding my time.”

Incorrect:

He was just biting his time, waiting for the dental appointment.

He was just binding his time, waiting for the dental appointment.

Correct:

He was just biding his time, waiting for the dental appointment.

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