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    • Join Date: Feb 2007
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    #1

    what does "rat hole" mean?

    Is "rat hole" an idiom or should I take it literally.

  1. matilda
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    #2

    Talking Re: what does "rat hole" mean?

    please mention the whole paragraph that this sentense is from. the teachers can decide better if they have the whole text

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: what does "rat hole" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by emy View Post
    Is "rat hole" an idiom or should I take it literally.
    I've heard it used idiomatically, to refer to a very detailed/specific discussion between a small number of people at a business meeting:

    Let's not pursue that rat-hole and waste everyone else's time. Perhaps you three could stay on after the end of the meeting.

    Informally, people in a meeting might just say 'Rat-hole!' to identify such a discussion when it starts.

    (Of course, matilda's right though - in some contexts it might not be used figuratively at all.)

    Another rat-related idiom that you meet (in BE at least) is 'rat-run' - a series of residential roads where traffic goes dangerously fast (often with sharp corners, junctions and narrow roads) during rush-hour to avoid hold-ups on the main roads:

    Since the roadworks started, the road where I live has become a rat-run between the bypass and the motorway junction.

    b

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    #4

    Re: what does "rat hole" mean?

    I had never heard the term before the arrest of Saddam Hussein.


    • Join Date: Feb 2007
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    #5

    Re: what does "rat hole" mean?

    A 'Rat Hole' is just an undesirable place, and generally small and dirty...

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