The idiom no love lost describes a feeling of mutual hostility between two people or groups. For example,

There's no love lost between him and his neighbour.

But is it correct to also use it without the mutual part? For example,

I have no love lost for my neighbour.

meaning that while I feel hostility for my neighbour, he may or may not feel the hostility towards me (or at least, this sentence doesn't make any claim about it).

  • I think you can, judging from the fact that many people say "I have no love lost for X", where X can be so many things from a TV show, to foxes, or to smoking. – Damkerng T. Feb 7 '14 at 14:23

I'm afraid I have to disagree with @Damkerng T. I think "there is no love lost" has to be between two (or more) parties. It just doesn't ring true when you try to apply the phrase in one direction. This seems to be backed up by a few dictionary entries for the term. 1, 2, 3.

My answer is a little weak since I haven't been able to find a similar idiom that can be used in a non-mutual way, but you might like to try these on for size:

I don't get on well with my neighbour.

I don't have any feelings of respect for my neighbour.

I don't see eye to eye with my neighbour.

  • Doing an ngram search for "no love lost for" reveals many examples, as in "He had no love lost for Athens." I would agree with Damkerng. For is one-way, between is two-way. – BobRodes Feb 7 '14 at 18:07

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