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. (‘Rack your brains’ is an alternative.)
Ragged blue line
(USA) 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.
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.
(USA) 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
(UK) If you go back to old problems and try to bring them back, making trouble for someone, you are raking over old
Rake someone over the coals
(USA) 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 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
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 trooper is someone who will fight for what they believe in and doesn’t give up easily.
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.