Bearer Of Bad News: What Is the Definition of this Useful Idiomatic Phrase?

Last Updated on March 19, 2020

Being the “bearer of bad news” is typically not a position you want to be in. If you have recently been accused of being the “bearer of bad news” and wonder what it meant and why people looked at you with such distaste, then you have arrived at the right page. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase, some information about its origin, and some example sentences and conversations to help you gain a deeper understanding. You will also see some alternative words or phrases near the very end that you can use in place of this phrase during a conversation to express the same message.

Bearer Of Bad News

Bearer Of Bad News Meaning

The idiom “bearer of bad news” means that you are the person responsible for delivering bad news to someone else.

Origin of the idiomatic term

The idiomatic phrase “bearer of bad news” has most likely been used since the mid-17th-century when the word “bearer” was defined to mean “someone who carried bodies to their graves.” The first phrase to be used was “bearer of bad tidings.” The phrase was changed and the two were used interchangeably as synonyms for one another for quite some time before the popularity of “bearer of bad news” became the more frequently used. However, its first recorded usage is unknown.

“Bearer Of Bad News” Examples

Example Sentences

  • I dislike being the bearer of bad news.
  • Sometimes you can’t help being the bearer of bad news in some situations.
  • I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
  • I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think the hot water heaters not working.
  • He had sufficient cause to suppose that Thomas was only a messenger, merely the bearer of bad news.

Example Conversations

A conversation between mother and daughter.

  • Daughter: I want to go to Ryan’s party tonight.
  • Mother: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can’t go.
  • Daughter: Why not?
  • Mother: Because you have previous obligations. Did you forget that you said you would watch your sister for me while I and your father go on a date?
  • Daughter: Darn! Yeah, I did forget!

A discussion between manager and employee.

  • Manager: I don’t like having to be the bearer of bad news, but I have to fire you.
  • Employee: Fire me?! For what?!
  • Manager: You were caught on camera and seen by several other employees removing money from the register.

Alternatives to “Bearer Of Bad News”

There are several alternative words or phrases that you can use as synonyms for the phrase “bearer of bad news.” Some of the words or phrases you could use instead include:

  • Carrier of bad tidings.
  • Messenger of bad news
  • Deliverer of an awful announcement

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