shove something down someone’s throat: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘shove something down someone's throat’ mean?

The idiom "shove something down someone's throat" means to force someone to accept or believe something, often in an aggressive or relentless manner.

Idiom Explorer


The idiom "shove something down someone's throat" is a widely used expression in American English. It is typically used to describe forcefully imposing opinions, beliefs, or ideas onto another person without regard for their acceptance or agreement. This aggressive approach is often criticized as it disregards the other person's autonomy or right to their own opinion.

The origin of this idiom is believed to have come from the literal act of physically forcing food down someone's throat, usually against their will. This act, associated with force-feeding or abuse, became a metaphorical expression to describe any action that imposes ideas or beliefs onto someone else in a forceful manner.

In contemporary usage, the idiom is commonly used to criticize someone's behavior when they are being overly persistent, pushy, or dogmatic in advocating their viewpoint. It suggests that the person using this approach is disregarding the other person's autonomy or right to their own opinion.

Additionally, the idiom can also be used in a self-reflective context, where individuals acknowledge their own tendency to impose their beliefs onto others or recognize when they are being overly persuasive.

It is important to note that the idiom "shove something down someone's throat" is a colloquial expression and should be used in informal settings. Its usage in formal or professional contexts might be perceived as unprofessional or offensive.

I could hardly understand the colloquial expression's meaning.

The related idiom "force something down someone's throat" shares a similar meaning to "shove something down someone's throat". It emphasizes the act of imposing something onto another person in a forceful and aggressive manner.

Similarly, the idiom "ram something down someone's throat" also conveys the act of forcibly imposing something onto someone without consideration for their agreement or acceptance. It highlights the forceful and aggressive nature of this action.

On the other hand, the idiom "jump down someone's throat" conveys a different meaning. It refers to aggressively criticizing or berating someone for what they have said or done. It does not necessarily involve imposing beliefs or ideas onto another person.

The idiom "tell someone where to shove it" is another expression that conveys aggression and frustration. It is used to tell someone in a harsh or confrontational manner to go away or leave.

Lastly, the idiom "shove it up your ass" is a vulgar expression that is used to dismiss or reject someone's idea or suggestion in a rude or offensive way.

By understanding the nuances of these related idioms, individuals can engage in more respectful and open conversations that allow for diverse viewpoints.

Example usage


1. The teacher keeps shoving her political views down our throats during class discussions.

2. I hate how my parents always shove their opinions on what career I should choose down my throat.

3. The advertising campaign was so aggressive that they were practically shoving their product down consumers' throats.

More "Vernacular" idioms