Talk the Bark Off a Tree

A rarely heard idiom from the late 1800’s or earlier.

Meaning of ‘Talk the Bark off a Tree’ Idiom

The idiom “to talk the bark off a tree” is similar to several related idioms, such as talk someone’s ear off and talk the hind legs off a donkey. It means to talk continuously and to exhaust the listener. This particular example is rarely heard today.

Examples Of Use

“They say you can talk the bark off a tree, but you seem quiet to me.”

“Don’t let Danny corner you, that guy can talk the bark off a tree.”


This idiom was in use in the later 1800’s but probably has earlier origins. It was probably never as popular as its related idioms, above. Its figurative use is similar, alluding to someone talking so incessantly that the constant barrage of words causes the bark to fall off a tree.

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