Learn 20 Expressions Related to Ingratitude

Ingratitude is an unfortunate human trait where individuals fail to acknowledge the kindness shown to them. Expressions related to ingratitude often carry a tone of disappointment and moral disapproval. This post explores 20 expressions and idioms that vividly describe scenarios of ingratitude, each accompanied by a concise definition and a simple example. These expressions serve as a reminder of the value of appreciation and the sting of its absence.

Expressions Related to Ingratitude

1. Bite the hand that feeds you

Meaning: To harm someone who has helped you.

Example: Criticizing your mentor is like biting the hand that feeds you.

2. Take for granted

Meaning: Fail to appreciate something consistently provided.

Example: He took his parents’ support for granted.

3. Look a gift horse in the mouth

Meaning: Critique something that was given freely.

Example: Complaining about the car’s color is looking a gift horse in the mouth.

4. Spit in the face of

Meaning: Show contempt or ingratitude to someone.

Example: Ignoring her advice was like spitting in her face.

5. Turn one’s back on

Meaning: Abandon or betray someone who helped you.

Example: After gaining fame, he turned his back on his old friends.

6. Throw back in one’s face

Meaning: Reject help or kindness rudely.

Example: She threw his apology back in his face.

7. Pay with ingratitude

Meaning: Respond to kindness with unkindness.

Example: After all the help he received, he paid with ingratitude.

8. Not know which side one’s bread is buttered on

Meaning: Fail to recognize where advantages come from.

Example: He criticized his boss publicly, clearly not knowing which side his bread is buttered on.

9. Give someone the cold shoulder

Meaning: To ignore someone deliberately.

Example: After the promotion, he gave his colleagues the cold shoulder.

10. Not give someone the time of day

Meaning: Ignore or refuse to acknowledge someone.

Example: He’s so ungrateful that he wouldn’t give her the time of day.

11. Slap in the face

Meaning: An action that shows lack of respect or gratitude.

Example: Not inviting her to the meeting was a slap in the face.

12. Kick the ladder away

Meaning: Remove support from someone who helped you climb up.

Example: Once he was successful, he kicked the ladder away.

13. Forget one’s roots

Meaning: Ignore where one came from or what got them there.

Example: Becoming a celebrity, he forgot his roots.

14. Neglect to mention

Meaning: Deliberately not acknowledge someone’s effort.

Example: He neglected to mention his teacher in his success speech.

15. Not lift a finger to help

Meaning: Do nothing to assist someone in return.

Example: Even after all the favors, he wouldn’t lift a finger to help her.

16. Show one’s true colors

Meaning: Reveal one’s ungrateful or negative nature.

Example: He showed his true colors when he complained about the gift.

17. Burn one’s bridges

Meaning: Destroy one’s relationships through poor behavior.

Example: By lying to his friends, he burned his bridges.

18. Take advantage of

Meaning: Exploit someone’s kindness without showing gratitude.

Example: She took advantage of his generosity without a thank you.

19. Not bat an eye

Meaning: Show no emotional gratitude or reaction.

Example: He didn’t bat an eye when she handed him the award.

20. Cast aside

Meaning: Dismiss or reject someone after they’ve been useful.

Example: After the project, he cast his team aside.

Expressions Related to Ingratitude