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
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.
If you save something, especially money, for a rainy day, you save it for some possible problem or trouble in the future.
If someone raises Cain, they make a big fuss publicly, causing a disturbance.
If something raises eyebrows, it shocks or surprises people.
Rake over old coals
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
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.
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.
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.
If something is the real deal, it is genuine and good.
Something that's the real McCoy is the genuine article, not a fake.
A real plum is a good opportunity.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.)
A rib tickler is a story or joke that will make you laugh a lot. Alternately, a joke might "tickle your ribs".
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.
If someone is riding high, they are very successful at the moment.
If someone rides roughshod over other people, they impose their will without caring at all for other people's feelings.
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.
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