Bone Idle

Meanings of “Bone Idle”

The phrase “bone idle” means a person who is very lazy or stays idle all the time. It also means a person might have worked very hard and is feeling extremely tired and fatigued.

Origin of “Bone Idle”

The phrase “bone idle” is stated to have been mentioned by Robert Forby in his book, The Vocabulary of East Anglia, published in 1830. It has been defined as an adjective that means lazy or fatigued as bone-tired. Since then, it has been used in the same meanings and same spellings. s

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Disco Kid by Spunge

Well people that know me say I’m lazy
That’s not true, well OK, maybe
It’s not just that I’m bone idle
The mentioning of hard work makes me go suicidal

These lines show the feelings of the singer about the people who assume he is a couch potato or a lazy person. He refutes this impression and their opinions as the reasons are not true. In fact, he is bone idle because the very mention of hard work makes him commit suicide. The singer wants to state that hard work is very strenuous and causes fatigue. Whenever he hears about hard work, he is terrified to the point of committing suicide, the reason that he stays “bone idle.”

Example #2

She’s Attracted To by The Young Knives

Who are these people
They are too stupid to be your real parents
I’ve met some bone idles in my time but they really take the biscuit
I tried to make talk to them nice
I wanted them to like me yea!!
But the time went by and the look in their eye said its never gonna do the trick

The above lines shed light on the new type of parents who are lazy as well as neglectful. The singers state that such parents are too stupid to be called parents as they are really “bone idles.” Although the singer states that he has tried his best to talk to such parents and make them like him. It is strange that they have failed to develop chemistry between them.

Example #3

Bone Idle by Suzette Hill

This novel features characters, Maurice and Bouncer, a cat and dog with Francis Oughterard, who is being blackmailed for stealing a valuable figurine from some building. However, it happens that there is a murder, and Francis tries to extricate himself from this second dilemma, leaving aside the first one that things start getting complicated. Now it is up to his animals to save him as he has become so much “bone idle,” or extremely tired.

Example #4

Inasmuch As Ye Did It Not . . . by Edith Nesbit

‘For since you’re all of you brothers
It’s clear as God’s blessed sun
That each must work for the others,
Not thousands work for one.
And the ones that have lived bone-idle
If they want Me to hear them pray,
Let them go and work for their livings
The only honest way!

The above lines are about unity among brothers. If there are many brothers, God blesses all of them if they work hard to make a living. Even if there is some “bone-idle” fellow, it is an honest way to ask him to go away and do his hard work for their livings.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “He is sitting bone idle because he has nothing else to do. He sometimes thinks that his habit will make him a couch potato.”

Example #2: “Raven explained that he is not a bone idle, and just thinking about his bright future. Raven’s father said that he has to work to fulfill his dreams.

Example #3: “If you are bone idle when you are sick, it’s okay. If you are constantly doing nothing, you have to rethink your life.”

Example #4: “There’s nothing wrong in being a bone idle on weekends as rest of the weekend you have worked hard.”

Example #5: “Lily is bone idle since last year. She gave up auditions and hopes for becoming an actress.”