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Definition And Meaning Definition And Meaning Articles 3 min2023-06-12 00:00

Bearer of Bad News: Definition and Meaning

bearer of bad news

Many people use the phrase bearer of bad news in written and spoken conversation when something bad has happened. What does it mean? 

Well, you could be a bearer of bad news if you are someone who has disappointing or upsetting news to share. 

In this article, we’ll explain the definition and meaning of bearer of bad news. You’ll also find out how to use it in a sentence with some examples.

Bearer of Bad News Definition

It’s easier to define the bearer of bad news if we break the phrase into two parts: “bearer of” and “bad news.”

A “bearer of” is someone who is carrying something. The phrase “bad news” is defined as disappointing, upsetting, or frustrating information—it suggests an unfortunate event has occurred.

When you put the two definitions together, the bearer of bad news is a messenger who has some unpleasant information to share.

Sometimes people will refer to the bearer of bad news as the bringer of bad news instead. Both phrases mean the same thing.

bearer of bad news definition

Bearer of Bad News Meaning

You can call yourself the bearer of bad news if you have to deliver bad news to someone. It could be details about something unexpected or a negative outcome of some results they were waiting for. For example, if you found out a student had failed their test and you had to give them the result, you would be the bearer of bad news.

If someone identifies themselves as a bearer of bad news, they know the person hearing them won’t like the news. By using the phrase, “sorry to be a bearer of bad news,” the speaker is anticipating how the person will feel after hearing the news.

The person hearing the bad news could take a dim view and place blame on the bearer of bad news for upsetting them. The bad news bearer might then use the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger,” which means “I’m just passing on the information, but it’s not my fault.”

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The Bearer of Bad News in Creative Writing

A “bearer of bad news” is also a character type used in novels and screenplays to describe a messenger of bad news. They could be a support character or another main character.

Writers can use the bearer of bad news character for different effects depending on the genre of the movie or book. For example, in a drama, the news could be devastating, but in a comedy, the “bad news” could be sarcastic or imagined. 

If the character uses sarcasm to deliver the news, it could be good or bad news. For example, the main character’s best friend could say, “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re not allowed to be sad today because I just bought us two tickets to the Bahamas.” It depends on the character, of course, but I’d be thrilled if someone bought me a ticket to the Bahamas.

Examples of the Bearer of Bad News in Sentences

Here are some examples of when you can use bearer of bad news in a conversation.

  • Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we can’t deliver your order today.

  • Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you can’t play football any more.

  • I’m afraid I have to be the bearer of bad news on this occasion.

  • I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your sister passed away last night.

As you can see, the addition of the words “I’m sorry,” “I hate,” and “I’m afraid” all give the impression the person speaking doesn’t want to say the next half of the sentence. 

Here are some examples of where you can use bearer of bad news in a story told in the third person.

  • He had to be the bearer of bad news, but he hoped the team wouldn’t hate him for confirming the redundancy rumors.

  • They didn’t want to be the bearers of bad news, but as her parents, they couldn’t let her marry him.

  • “I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news,” he said, not wanting to ruin their moment. “I appear to be on fire.”

Hate to Be the Bearer of Bad News Conclusion

As you can see, if you’re the bearer of bad news, the information you’re about to share won’t be positive. 

Writers can use the bearer of bad news phrase for different dramatic or comedic effects within stories and movies depending on whether the character delivering the news is being sarcastic or serious.

If you need to write an email or a message to someone using the bearer of bad news phrase, you can use ProWritingAid to check that the grammar in your sentence is correct. 

Use the Realtime checker to identify any grammatical or spelling errors. ProWritingAid will underline areas for improvement and provide you with details about why it highlighted the error and potential ways for you to resolve it. 

Now you know what it means, and how it’s used, we hope you feel confident using bearer of bad news in your writing.

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