American Idioms and Expressions

Reading The Riot Act Idiom

This database is a comprehensive collection of all the American idioms and slang available. American Idioms are many and varied. We hope you enjoy our collection. We are adding more all the time. .

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Reading the riot act
What does Reading the riot act mean?
To complain or lecture loudly and with angry emotion. Upset about his neighbors load music at 3:00 am, Davis knocked on the door and proceeded to read the riot act.
"Reading the riot act" used to be a literal event. Bobbies in Britain used to read a prescribed proclamation, known as the Riot Act, before they could break up or arrest a crowd. The Riot Act is used in a fashion similar to the Miranda Rights in the US.
The Bobbies would approach the crowd, read the Riot Act aloud, and then disperse or arrest them.

Some Random Idioms
need one's head examined
What does "need one's head examined" mean?
to make remarks or do actions that are wrong or stupidMy teacher needs her head examined. It will be impossible to finish the project before Monday.
have never had it so good
What does "have never had it so good" mean?
have never been in such a good situationWe have never had it so good since the new supervisor came to our department.
wring one's hands
What does "wring one's hands" mean?
to worry and be upset about something and not be doing anything about itThe woman stayed up most of the night wringing her hands while she waited for her son to come home.
wannabe
What does "wannabe" mean?
somebody who aspires to greatness or to a particular position or achievement
creep up on (someone or something)
What does "creep up on (someone or something)" mean?
to crawl quietly toward someone or somethingThe thief crept up on the elderly woman in the supermarket.
TTYL
What does "TTYL" mean?
talk to you later
eagle eye
What does "eagle eye" mean?
an intently watchful eye The boy has an eagle eye and he never misses anything.

snag
What does "snag" mean?
acquire; grab; swipe; steal
Hold your horses
What does "Hold your horses" mean?
If someone tells you to hold your horses, you are doing something too fast and they would like you to slow down.
take the starch out of (someone)
What does "take the starch out of (someone)" mean?
to make someone less arrogant, to make someone tired and weakThe criticism by the teacher took the starch out of the girl who thought that she was the best in the class.
off-color
What does "off-color" mean?
not the exact color We painted our kitchen in an off-color of white.

hoot
What does "hoot" mean?
laughly loudly and deeply
sporting chance
What does "sporting chance" mean?
some possibility of success some possibility of successThe tennis player was not given a sporting chance to win the tournament but still she tried very hard to win.

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