Idioms Beginning With: 'R'
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Rack and ruin If something or someone goes to rack and ruin, they are utterly destroyed or wrecked. Rack your brain If you rack your brain, you think very hard when trying to remember something or think hard to solve a problem, findf and answer, etc. ('Rack your brains' is an alternative.) Ragged blue line (USA) This term was used to signify the Union forces (who wore blue uniforms) in the American Civil war . Rags to riches Someone who starts life very poor and becomes rich goes from rags to riches. Rain on your parade If someone rains on your parade, they ruin your pleasure or your plans. Raining cats and dogs When it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining very heavily. Rainy day If you save something, especially money, for a rainy day, you save it for some possible problem or trouble in the future. Raise Cain (USA) If someone raises Cain, they make a big fuss publicly, causing a disturbance. Raise eyebrows If something raises eyebrows, it shocks or surprises people. Rake over old coals (UK) If you go back to old problems and try to bring them back, making trouble for someone, you are raking over old coals. Rake someone over the coals (USA) If you rake someone over the coals, you criticize or scold them severely. Rank and file The rank and file are the ordinary members of a company, organisation, etc, excluding the managers and directors. Rat race The rat race is the ruthless, competitive struggle for success in work, etc. Rather you than me Rather you than me is an expression used when someone has something unpleasant or arduous to do. It is meant in a good natured way of expressing both sympathy and having a bit of a laugh at their expense. Raw deal If you get a raw deal, you are treated unfairly. Read between the lines If you read between the lines, you find the real message in what you're reading or hearing, a meaning that is not available from a literal interpretation of the words. Read from the same page When people are reading from the same page, they say the same things in public about an issue. Read someone the riot act If you read someone the riot act, you give them a clear warning that if they don't stop doing something, they will be in serious trouble. Real deal If something is the real deal, it is genuine and good. Real McCoy Something that's the real McCoy is the genuine article, not a fake. Real plum A real plum is a good opportunity. Real trouper A real trouper is someone who will fight for what they believe in and doesn't give up easily. (People often use 'Real trooper' as the two words sound the same.) Rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic (UK) If people are rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, they are making small changes that will have no effect as the project, company, etc, is in very serious trouble. Recharge your batteries If you recharge your batteries, you do something to regain your energy after working hard for a long time. Recipe for disaster A recipe for disaster is a mixture of people and events that could only possibly result in trouble. Red carpet If you give someone the red-carpet treatment, you give them a special welcome to show that you think they are important. You can roll out the red carpet, too. Red herring If something is a distraction from the real issues, it is a red herring. Red letter day A red letter day is a one of good luck, when something special happens to you. Red light district The red light district is the area of a town or city where there is prostitution, sex shops, etc. Red mist If someone sees red or the red mist, they lose their temper and self-control completely. Red rag to a bull If something is a red rag to a bull, it is something that will inevitably make somebody angry or cross. Red tape This is a negative term for the official paperwork and bureaucracy that we have to deal with. Reds under the bed An ironic allusion to the obsession some people have that there are reds (communists) everywhere plotting violent revolution. Reduce to ashes If something is reduced to ashes, it is destroyed or made useless. His infidelities reduced their relationship to ashes. Reinvent the wheel If someone reinvents the wheel, they waste their time doing something that has already been done by other people, when they could be doing something more worthwhile. Renaissance man A Renaissance man is a person who is talented in a number of different areas, especially when their talents include both the sciences and the arts. Rest is gravy (USA) If the rest is gravy, it is easy and straightforward once you have reached that stage. Rest on your laurels If someone rests on their laurels, they rely on their past achievements, rather than trying to achieve things now. Revenge is sweet When you are happy to be proved right, then you know that revenge is sweet. Rewrite history If you rewrite history, you change your version of past events so as to make yourself look better than you would if the truth was told. Rhyme or reason If something is without rhyme or reason, it is unreasonable. ('Beyond rhyme or reason' is an alternative.) Rib tickler A rib tickler is a story or joke that will make you laugh a lot. Alternately, a joke might "tickle your ribs". Rice missionary A rice missionary gives food to hungry people as a way of converting them to Christianity. Rich as Croesus Someone who is as rich as Croesus is very wealthy indeed. Rich man's family A rich man's family consists of one son and one daughter. Ride for a fall If sxomeone is riding for a fall, they are taking great risks that are likely to end in a disaster. Ride high If someone is riding high, they are very successful at the moment. Ride roughshod If someone rides roughshod over other people, they impose their will without caring at all for other people's feelings. Ride shotgun If you ride shotgun, you protect or guard something when it is being transported. Ride with the tide If you ride with the tide, you accept the majority decision. If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our . If you know of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please use our online form to Idioms Discussion Forum suggest an idiom. Members Get More
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