Why do people say "Don't worry, I don't bite" when talking to a stranger? I mean, you have never been like "Shit! this person is gonna bite me for sure, I better stay away!" No one does, amirite?

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I've always thought that that phrase was for old people trying to be funny.

It's a joke referencing to the "Don't worry; she/he won't bite" when speaking of a dog and a stranger going to pet him/her.

Sense of humor, simply put.