Bitten words

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You little ripper!

Senior Member
Australian English
Does anyone know what ‘bitten words’ means here? I’m only familiar with ‘biting words’ (cutting or stinging). The context is a group of friends talking and someone intervenes occasionally and says the following:

A spoke with her hands, smashing her index finger against the table again and again. B kept shaking his head. C chimed in once in a while, the force of his words bitten and harsh.

Someone in the English-Italian forum needs to translate it. No source has been given but I can ask there if it’s necessary. :)
 
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