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Cliches starting with R

ClicheMeaning
radical chicRadical chic is a phrase which was first used in 1970 by Tim Wolfe who was a journalist and wrote an essay called Radical Chic: That Party at Lennys. The term describes the adoption and promotion of radical political causes by celebrities, high society members, and socialites. Nowadays this term is still used when in reference mostly to celebrities and political figures which are often promoted.
raining bucketsRaining buckets is the term used for when it is raining very heavily outside. The origin raining buckets is when it used to rain heavily and if there were holes in your roof, you would put buckets on the ground in order to prevent the water from ruining the ground of your home. If the buckets filled up, it means it must be raining heavily because it takes a lot of rain to fill up a large bucket.
raining cats and dogsRaining cats and dogs is another way to say it is raining very heavily. Many terms describe the severity at which it is raining, and one of the more common ones for heavy rain and sleet is raining cats and dogs. This is also sometimes used to describe rain along with hail as it seems so heavy that other things are dropping on the roof of your home, such as cats and dogs in this example.
raise the deadRaise the dead is the term used literally when you bring a dead person back to life; which is the case in many scary stories or horror movies. Figuratively, raising the dead means to do something that is deemed very bad or offensive. Raising the dead in horror movies consists of bad consequences because these ghosts or creatures are still dead and often harm people when they come out from their graves.
raise the roofRaise the roof is a slang term used for people who literally raise their hands in the air as a physical expression for getting a party started. This is also a phrase which expresses the desire to get the party started. It is also sometimes used to represent the limitations everyone has and the expression asks that people work together in order to increase mutual potential instead of oppressing the competition.
raising cainRaising Cain is an expression which is used when referring to someone making a lot of trouble or raising hell. Cain is referring to Cain and Abel from the biblical verse featuring these two brothers. Cain was considered to be a bad and evil person in the bible due to the things he did to his brother, and therefore if you are raising Cain, you are raising trouble.
raking in the doughIf someone is raking in the dough it means they are bringing in a large amount of money. To be raking in the dough usually refers to the fact that one fell swoop, or one large act or situation led to a lot of money being made which continues to come in on a regular basis. So much money in fact, that you are able to rake it in. This is another way of saying something you did or that happened to you is bringing in large sums of money.
raking it inAnother way to say you are making a lot of money is to say you are raking it in. It is simply another way of saying you are raking in the dough, but sometimes abbreviate this to say you are raking it in. It refers to an act, job or some sort of luck like winning the lottery in which will cause a person to continue to bring in money with little effort after the initial act which led to all of the money being earned.
rally roundTo rally round means to come to the aid of someone and offer moral or practical support. If you rally round someone, you are supporting them, usually in order to win something such as an election, or possibly as a group rallying around someone who has recently been ill or injured as a way to offer your help, support and love to this person.
ralphedRalphed is a slang term and idiom phrase in the English language which refers to the act of vomiting something or throwing up as it is sometimes called. If someone has ralphed it means they have just thrown up. The origin of this phrase is unclear, but it has been used as an idiom for someone vomiting for several years, since at least the 1970s and continues to be another way of saying someone vomited.
rank and fileRank and file refers to the ordinary members of a group rather than the leaders of a group. If you are trying to speak about the members of a group or organization, but want to refer only to the simple and ordinary members of a group rather than the leaders of this group, you will call them the rank and file. While the rank and file are not leaders or have any type of powers over the group, they are still deemed important.
rattle the raftersRattle the rafters is the idiom used to describe any situation which will intentionally cause excitement or strong feelings to a crowd, such as one in the rafters of a concert, stage production or sports game. In terms of a sports game, certain things within the game will rattle the rafters because in the game something impressive will happen in the field causing the fans to stand up and cheer which rattles the rafters in the literal sense.
read between the linesTo read between the lines means to infer something from something else, or to try to understand the meaning of something that isnt written or shown in a open or explicit manner. If you are reading between the lines, you are looking past what may be obvious and clearly written to everyone else, and trying to find more meaning in what you are seeing. This can be in reference to various different situations.
read it and weepRead it and weep is a phrase said to people to tell them to hear or read bad news, most commonly in a sarcastic manner by someone who has done something better than this person or won some kind of competition against them, therefore it is only bad news for the other person. It is often spoken to someone in a mocking tone as to show them they have won this kind and come out on top.
read my lipsRead my lips is a phrase used to tell someone to listen to what youre saying, but instead of a casual request it is said in a slightly impolite way. It is usually spoken somewhat rudely to someone else who seems to not be listening to them or not paying attention to them. When you are caught not paying attention, this person will say read my lips to get you to listen closely.
read the handwriting on the wallRead the handwriting on the wall is another way to tell someone to anticipate what is going to happen next by observing various clues and other small hints. The handwriting on the wall is referring to the various clues and hints which may or may not be in plain sight. By observing carefully for clues and various hints or evidence, you will be able to figure out what is going to happen next.
red herringA red herring is a piece of information or suggestion that is introduced to draw attention away from the actual real facts of the situation. A red herring is a type of smoked fish with a very strong smell that was once drawn across the trail of a different scent in order to mislead hunting dogs and put them off the scent. The phrase is now used in any type of situation where you try to draw the attention toward something different.
red sky in the morning, sailors warning; red sky at night, sailors delightRed sky in the morning, sailors warning; red sky at night, sailors delight is a line from an old rhyme that was repeated by mariners during the past centuries. The rhyme was used as a rule of thumb for weather forecasting, which dated back about 2,000 years. It is based on the reddish glow of the morning or evening sky which was caused by haze or clouds related to storms in that region.
redheaded stepchildRedheaded stepchild is an older idiom which was used to describe someone who stood out and therefore got more severe punishment because of it. The phrase originates from the redheaded stepchild standing out from other blonde and brunette siblings and therefore reminds the stepparent of their biological mother or father. Because of this, they would get punished more than their other siblings.
reign supremeTo reign supreme means to be the person who rules over everyone else. The person who reigns supreme may be a supervisor or manager at your company, or be the leader of a certain group r organization. Saying someone is the reign supreme, simply means they are the all-powerful Supreme Being in a sense, exaggerating this persons important by saying they are reigning over everyone.
remember the AlamoRemember the Alamo was originally a battle cry where the bitterness of the Texans over the massacres by Mexican forced in San Antonio in 1836 found some sort of expression. The phrase has been attributed to General Sam Houston who used these words to address his men after the massacre and to Colonel Sidney Sherman who fought in the battle of San Jacinto. Remember the Alamo is now an expression about what people say before a big battle which is being fought for a reason.
reopen an old woundTo re-open an old wound means to cause someone to remember an unpleasant event or situation that happened to them in the past. This wound is usually emotional or psychological, such as something bad happening to them and when you bring up the situation or ask them to discuss it further with you, you are re-opening this emotional wound by causing them to recall the various events that led to it.
rest assuredTo rest assured means to be very assured or be certain of something. If someone tells you to rest assured, they are trying to tell you the ultimate ending is practically guaranteed and you can be sure and certain this thing they propose is going to happen. If you are sure of it happening, you can tell someone to rest assured as they are able to rest and relax knowing that it will indeed happen.
resting on ones laurelsResting on ones laurels means to stop trying because you are satisfied with your past achievements. This is often spoken in the negative as in to tell you not to rest on your own laurels because you achieved in the past. Just because you have succeeded before, does not mean you should not continue trying with the same amount of effort and continue to achieve in the same way with just as much success in the future.
ride off into the sunsetTo ride off into the sunset means to ride away (literally or figuratively) leaving the loved ones behind. This is most commonly used in the negative where you are reassured this person will not ride off into the sunset and leave you behind to fend for yourself. Riding off into the sunset can be literal in reference to riding on a horse to leave you, or figuratively in leaving by another mode of transportation.
riding the wild ponyRiding the wild pony is an idiom used to refer to someone who is determined to remain with something, no matter the consequences which may come as a result of it. If you are riding the wild pony, you are committed to it, even if it is wild, bad for you, or comes with its own set of risks. Riding a wild pony is usually done by someone who is adventurous and willing to risk the consequences.
right as rainTo be right as rain means to be perfectly fine or another way to assure someone you are all right. You might say you are right as rain as a response to someone asking how you are after something bad has just happened and been resolved. It can also be in relation to a certain situation, saying that nobody needs to worry about it because in the end all will be right as rain.
right on the moneyRight on the money is another way to say you hit the nail on the head, or what you say is correct and true. This phrase is usually said to someone in response of them guessing or saying a comment to you after you had asked a question. For instance, if you are a teacher and asked your students a particular question, and one of them got the correct answer; you can then say he or she was right on the money.
right on the noseRight on the nose is a way to say that someone has gotten the exact right answer or to say precisely or that they predicted the final score as it exactly was. Right on the nose is used in reference to some sort of game or competition in which the person predicted the score such as for a sports game, and they hit it right on the nose because they got the most exact and precise prediction.
right up your alleySomething that is right up your alley is typically following suit with your own interests, skills and abilities and seems perfect for you. If something is right up your alley, it means that is goes very well with something about you such as your personal preferences, abilities, interests or skills. This may also be something in reference to your appearance or style, but usually has to do with things you enjoy.
ring in the new yearTo ring in the new year means to celebrate the beginning of the year at midnight which is the transitional period between one year and the next on December 31st. Ringing in the new year is often done at some sort of celebration where you are counting down with the clock until it reaches midnight, at which the year automatically becomes the next year. Many people call this ringing in the new year.
rise and shineRise and shine is an expression said to someone in order to tell them to get out of bed and become energetic and ready for a new day. It is often spoken to someone who is very tired or just waking up and you are in a cheerful and chipper mood. If you want this person to wake up, get out of bed in be in an equally cheerful mood for the day to be bright and energetic, you will tell them rise and shine.
roaring fireA roaring fire is a fire which is loud and boisterous which is a fire that is blazing and burning, usually at great heights. This term is often used in novels to describe the type of fire that was burning. A roaring fire can really be any type of fire that is burning, but the cliche roaring fire is one that has a good amount of blaze and burn behind it, so much that it is quite high for its size with bold colors to it.
rob Peter to pay PaulRob Peter to pay Paul is a phrase which refers to the act of borrowing money from one person in order to pay a debt you owe to another person; it can also be stealing from one person to give to the next. This phrase is often used in the negative as to say that you should not be borrowing money from one person just to pay back another person because this starts a nasty cycle which will cause you to constantly borrow from one to pay another.
roll out the red carpetTo roll out the red carpet is the act of rolling out a red carpet literally for someone very important to walk on. Figuratively, this means to give royal treatment to someone who deserves this type of treatment such as a political figure, actual royalty, celebrity or other important person. Red carpets were originally rolled out for royalty such as Kings and Queens as a sign of respect. It is now often used for celebrities or other types of public figures.
roll with the punchesRolling with the punches is the phrase used when you need to deal with judgment and criticism as it is handed to you. The phrase originates from being in a fight and going along with it even if you get punched. Figuratively, rolling with the punches means to deal with each bad thing that comes your way with a level head, get over this bad thing or situation, and move on from it.
rolling in the doughIf you are rolling in the dough, it means you have a lot of money; typically so much you have enough to spare and to spend on useless and meaningless things. The term refers to the fact that when someone has a lot of money, they have so much that they could cash it all out and literally have enough to roll around in. The term is often used as a way to show exactly how much money someone has.
rolling over in his graveRolling over in his grave is something you might say about someone who is dead when something is said or referenced to him or her that would anger them if they were still alive. This is often said by someone who witnesses someone else talking about something that would most likely upset this person who has dead. By saying he is rolling over in his grave right now, you are pointing out this fact.
rope a dopeRope a dope is a boxing tactic where the person pretends to be trapped against the rope while the opponents wears himself out throwing punches at you as you stand there getting some rest. While you are still having to fend off the punches, or take some punches to the face or gut while at the ropes, you are gaining momentum for when the other boxer tires himself out from throwing all of the punches.
rough as a cobTo be rough as a cob means to be a very abrasive person, usually someone with an unpolished style in regards to your appearance, communications or actions. The phrase refers to earlier times in which a corncob was used b some people for their personal hygiene including when they would use the restroom with the outhouse. This is why being rough as a cob means you are very unpolished and abrasive.
rubbing salt in his woundsWhen you say you are rubbing salt in his wounds it means that you are doing or saying something which makes an already bad situation even worse. If someone is wounded, especially an open cut or scrape or a similar wound, and you rub salt into it; it makes it so much more painful. Figuratively, this idiom is used when you are taking a bad situation and doing something which only makes it worse.
rule with an iron fistTo rule with an iron fist means that you are ruling with a very stern manner. Different people with some kind of power or authority over others have different methods of ruling their inferiors, or children if this is the situation they are referring to. Some people use a more gentle and practical approach with who they rule over, while others rule more sternly who are known as ruling with an iron fist.
rules are made to be brokenRules are made to be broken is what some people say in order to make light of doing something bad as a way to rationalize that poor behavior and bad judgment is acceptable. This is usually said by someone who is trying to encourage others to do the same bad thing they are doing. By saying rules are made to be broken, they are saying that if the person making the rules didnt want it to be broken, they would never have made the rule in the first place.
run it up the flagpoleRun it up the flagpole is an expression used to tell people about an idea you have and see what they think about the idea. It is usually used casually as in to see what people think of your idea, simply as a curiosity. The expression first became popular in the 1990s and is a cliche often used when you want to tell someone your idea, where you will run it up the flagpole. You may also hear this phrase used in a more serious manner such as a bad idea you want to run up the flagpole to see if anyone else agrees with this bad idea.
run like the windTo run like the wind means to run very, very fast. If you think of the wind, it goes extremely fast even if you dont notice it. If you are running like the wind, it is more like you are running with the wind, in that you are so fast others only see you as being wind because they hardly notice you. It is another way of exaggerating exactly how fun you should be running. The phrase can also be used for other instances of going fast, rather than just the activity of running.
run the gauntletTo run the gauntlet means to endure a variety of problems, threats or criticism. It is usually said in reference to something, where you are running the gauntlet of something. If you are running the gauntlet of something, you are going through much criticism through a series or string of threats, problems and insults and are forced to sit there and listen to them, endure them and later accept them.
run with the fox and bark with the houndsRun with the fox and bark with the hounds is another way of saying you support both sides of a dispute. If you are running with the fox, this is how you are siding with this creature, while barking with the hounds is another way of saying you are also siding with this creature. The phrase is often used as a way to encourage someone to support both sides of a dispute as well as a way to say you shouldnt do this when said as a negative remark.
running around like a chicken with its head cut offRunning around like a chicken with its head cut off is a common cliched phrase which means to be running around in a quick, frenzied manner. When chickens get their head chopped off, they dont die immediately like any other animal or human. They run around for a while in a very frenzied manner not sure what to do with themselves. Figuratively speaking, running around like a chicken with its head cut off means you are doing a variety of things in a very frantic manner.
running with wolvesThe phrase running with wolves comes from the book titled Women who run with the wolves and is a way to show people to get in touch with lost, wild and natural instincts which can lead you to become more genuine people. Running with wolves is typically referring to being more instinctive, vivid and vital in the way that you choose to live your daily life.
run-of-the-millSomething that is the run-of-the-mill is very simple and ordinary with no type of decoration or augmentation. This phrase is commonly used for something which is very simple and basic, such as an article of clothing or a food item which doesnt have much to it other than being a simplistic necessary item. Run of the mill can also be used for a situation or even a person, who seems very much like everyone else.
runs like a scalded dogIf someone runs like a scalded dog this means the person runs away like a coward. Literally speaking, a scalded dog will run away because it has just been harmed but when used figuratively it means very much like someone who is a coward. If someone runs away from their problems or from difficult situations, then they are not being courageous and are therefore running away like a coward.
runs like a topRuns like a top means something which operates or runs very smoothly and flawlessly. This idiom is derived from the smooth and balanced manner of a spinning top which seems to spin perfectly without falling over until it finally stops spinning. To run like a top means to run in much the same way; where while this person is running, they do so in a smooth, perfect and flawless manner.