• Bone throwing

    Bone throwing

    • In business, bone throwing is an altruistic act or introduction for the benefit of a friend, colleague, or contact. The act or introduction requires some follow-up on the part of the recipient. Generally, but not necessarily, done on a pay it forward basis.

      Throwing bones to dogs is an ancient human custom. Dogs derive calcium from bones and the act of catching and retrieving bones brings pleasure to them.Throwing the bone gives the dog the ability to obtain and enjoy it, but requires it to take a step or more to get to it.

      The exact origin of the term is unknown. Although an urban legend holds that a Microsoft employee coined the phrase to explain his altruistic introduction of a colleague to a friend, there are previous historical references.

      The earliest recorded use of the idiom is in 1875, in Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now:

      There was considerable uneasiness in the bosoms of others of the Directors. ... [T]hey knew that Lord Alfred had sold shares, and had received the profit. ... And if there was so much cause to fear Lord Alfred that it was necessary to throw him a bone, why should not they also make themselves feared?

  • What Else?

    • Bone throwing