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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

LAW and ORDER, page 2

from:   'caught red-handed'   to:  'kangaroo court'

  • caught red-handed
    • If a person is caught red-handed, they are caught while they are doing something wrong or illegal.
      "The police arrived as the burglar was leaving the house. He was caught red-handed."

  • caveat emptor
    • This Latin expression, which means 'let the buyer beware', is a warning to customers that goods are for sale 'as is'. The buyer is purchasing the articles at his/her own risk and is responsible for examining them beforehand.
      "Caveat emptor is a principle to be remembered when buying second-hand goods."

  • crack down on
    • If the authoritiescrack down on something, they enforce the law by taking severe measures to restrict undesirable or criminal actions.
      "To reduce road accidents, it was decided to crack down on speeding."

  • cut some slack
    • If you relax a rule, treat a person less severely or allow someone to do something which is normally not permitted, you cut them some slack.
      "Our parents are very strict; I wish they'd cut us some slack now and then."

  • daylight robbery
    • The term daylight robbery is used when the price of something is thought to be much too high.
      "$15 for an orange juice? That's daylight robbery!"

  • (a) fair hearing
    • When accused of wrongdoing, if someone gets a fair hearing, they get an opportunity to present evidence or give their side of the story, usually in court.
      "I can guarantee that you will get a fair hearing."

  • false pretences
    • If you obtain something under false pretences, you deceive others by lying about your identity, qualifications, financial or social position, in order to get what you want.
      "The journalist obtained the interview under false pretences."

  • (can't) fight the city hall
    • This expression means that it is useless to try to win a battle against a politician, establishment or bureaucracy in general.
      "Brian decided it was a waste of energy trying to obtain a tax refund - you can't fight the city hall."

  • get out of hand
    • If a person or situation gets out of hand, they cannot be controlled any longer.
      "During the student demonstration, things got out of hand and several shop windows were broken."

  • hit and run (accident)
    • When the driver of a vehicle hits another vehicle without stopping to provide help, identification or insurance, and fails to report the accident to the police, the collision is called a hit-and-run accident.
      "A hit-and-run accident deserves serious punishment."

  • identity theft
    • The crime of using another person's personal information (name, credit card number, etc.) without his/her knowledge, to set up and use bank accounts and credit facilities is known as identity theft.

  • in trouble with the law
    • If someone is in trouble with the law, they are being questioned by the police in connection with something illegal or criminal.
      "The suspect has often been in trouble with the law."

  • kangaroo court
    • A kangaroo court is an illegal tribunal set up by a group of people who have taken the law into their own hands and conduct trials which deny fundamental justice.
      "Calm down please! Is this a meeting or a kangaroo court?"

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