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What Does The Phrase "To Burn Your Bridges" Mean?

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Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
This can also be "to burn your boats." it is the same in each case; it means that you make it impossible to go back. The term is probably military in origin, but it is used as a metaphor for any decision that you can't take back.
An example of burning your bridges: you want to change jobs, but instead of waiting until you have found something new, you hand in your resignation first. Now even if you don't find a new job, you can't stay in the old one.

This doesn't mean that "burning your bridges" is always considered a bad idea. There are situations where the only thing is to make a decisive move, so that you have to stop hesitating and deal with the situation. For instance, it may be better just to walk away from a destructive relationship than to keep waiting until you've sorted out exactly what you're going to do next.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It can mean a few things. Firstly, a bridge can mean a relationship or a bond. To burn these is to lose the tie you had before. A bridge is also a connection to a history or past. To burn a bridge this way would be metaphorically going one way and one way only, like a point of no return which originated from aviation - when an aircraft could not go back to take off point because of the amount of fuel consumption. It is also derived from when Caesar crossed the Rubicon river, declaring war and once war has started there is no turning back, only going forward so Caesar was primarily burning bridges. In wars, armies would burn bridges to prevent retreat and further the distance between the opposition or enemy. These are the reasons for burning bridges.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The phrase to "burn your boat" is taken from Islamic history. It refers to the Islamic leader, Tariq bin Ziad, who burned all of his fighters' boats in Spain in their fight against the Christians of Spain during the Andalus period. By this action, the Islamic leader did not give his men a choice. They could only fight since they could not escape by sea. There is no going back!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
That phrase means to go ahead and do something even knowing you can't go back..If you do you burn your bridges as it sounds from the words you can't go back you can't be in the same position you were before..
Stewart Pinkerton Profile
It was the habit of an invading Roman Army to burn bridges after crossing, in order to discourage retreat. On a sea incursion such as the invasion of Britain, they also burned their boats, another modern expression.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
To burn a bridge means that you have a friend but you are sick of them so you just stop being their friend.

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