English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - R
|ram down someone's throat||If you ram
something down someone's throat, you
force them to accept something against their
I encourage him to learn English but I can't ram it down his throat.
|rant and rave||If you rant and
rave about something, you protest
noisily and forcefully.
The old man ranted and raved about the new waste collection system, but he had to accept it.
|rap on the knuckles||If someone gets a
rap on/across the knuckles, they are
punished or reprimanded, but not very
severely, as a reminder not to do something
Andy got a rap on the knuckles for coming home late.
|take the rap||If you take the
rap for something, you accept blame or
punishment for it, even if you have not done
The whole class had to take the rap for the disorder.
|in raptures||If you are in
raptures about something, you are
delighted or very enthusiastic.
Caroline is in raptures about her new apartment.
|raring to go||If someone is
raring to go, they are very eager and
enthusiastic about the idea of doing
The kids can't wait to go camping. They're raring to go!
|smell a rat||To say 'I smell
a rat' means that you suspect that
something is wrong, or that someone is doing
something dishonest or incorrect.
The profits announced are abnormally low. I smell a rat.
|rats in the attic||If you say that
someone has rats in the attic, you
mean that they are a bit mad or that their
behaviour is eccentric.
She keeps repeating the same question. I think she's got rats in the attic.
|rather you than me||This expression is
used to express sympathy with someone who
has to do something unpleasant or difficult,
and you would not like to be in their
"I have to announce the bad new to the child's parents."
"Oh dear, rather you than me."
|reach for the moon||If you reach
for the moon, you are very ambitious
and try to achieve something even if it is
His parents were hardworking people who encouraged their children to reach for the moon.
|reach saturation point||When something
reaches saturation point, it is so full
that nothing more can be added.
That's enough information for today. My brain has reached saturation point!
|read the riot act||If you declare with
force and authority that something must
stop, and announce the consequences if it
happens again, you read the riot act.
Dad read us the riot act when we messed up his tool-shed.
|ready and waiting||Something or
someone that is ready and waiting
is prepared and available for a particular
task or occasion.
There was a vast amount of food ready and waiting for the guests.
|ready to drop||Someone who is
ready to drop is nearly too exhausted
to stay standing.
I've been shopping all day with Judy. I'm ready to drop!
|reap the harvest||If you reap the
harvest, you benefit or suffer as a
direct result of past actions.
When he won his first match, he began to reap the harvest of all the hard training.
|rear its ugly head||If something
unpleasant reappears after lying dormant
for some time, it rears its ugly head.
It is feared that fascism is rearing its ugly head again in some countries.
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