사회생활을 하다보면 암묵적인 규칙을 배우게 된다.

예를들어 누군가의 행동이 어이없고, 짜증나고, 바보같을 때가 있을 때가 있는데, 그럴 때 감정적으로 대하는 것보다 외교를 하는 게 훨씬 더 스마트할 때가 많다. (물론 도가 지나치면 그에 맞는 조취를 취해야겠지만). 안그러면 언제 보복당할 지 모르고, 또 나중에 큰 기회를 놓치게 될 수도 있기 때문이다. 한국어로 소위 “찍히거나 눈에 난다”라고 표현하는데 영어로는 비슷한 느낌을 어떻게 표현할까? 시각적으로 재미있는 표현이 있다. “Why didn’t I punch him in the face? Well, I didn’t want to burn bridges


  1. to act unpleasantly in a situation that you are leaving, ensuring that you’ll never be welcome to return.


“b”urn “b”ridges에서 alliteration(각운법)을 notice하시길 바란다.


  • You didn’t just burn bridges. You torched, nuked, and salted the earth with them. (House)
  • A Wise man does not burn his bridges until he first knows he can part the waters. (Wire)
  • You’re going to burn a lot of bridges. The President should at least sit down with him and let him make his case. (House of Cards)
  • Did I piss people off? Did I burn some bridges? (Joey)
  • It’s not that I care about you, Mary, I just don’t want to see you burn your bridges before you’ve crossed into the land of job security. (Intelligence)


  • Leaders say they understand what is happening, but at the same time they don’t want to burn their bridges with Moscow. (NYT)
  • “The message is don’t burn your bridges and leave on bad terms,” said Clayton Heijman, founder and CEO of Darwin Platform (Bloomberg)
  • How can he burn his bridges with Pelosi and Reid, as this columnist suggests, when he needs them to get his policies enacted? (Economist)


  • I don’t burn bridges. I just loosen the bolts a little bit each day.
  • Sometimes you have to burn bridges just so you aren’t tempted to cross them anymore.
  • be very social and don’t burn bridges you never know who u gonna need in the long run


  • Can’t wait to start burning bridges together.
  • Birch is right. You’re going to burn a lot of bridges.
  • Never return to the bridges you’ve burned.


  • Is it a slang? Yes
  • Can I use it in a email? Yes (but only if it’s casual)
  • Can I use it in a formal setting? No

context plot data source: Davies, Mark. (2008-) The Corpus of Contemporary American English: 450 million words, 1990-present. Available online at http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/