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hot rod

An automobile that has been specially refitted, redesigned, or altered in some way so as to achieve very high speeds and acceleration. I've spent nearly two years turning this old worn-out Mustang into one heck of a hot rod.
See also: hot, rod

spare the rod and spoil the child.

Prov. You should punish a child when he or she misbehaves, because if you do not, the child will grow up expecting everyone to indulge him or her. Jane: How can you allow your little boy to be so rude? Ellen: It distresses me to punish him. Jane: lean understand that, but spare the rod and spoil the child.
See also: and, child, rod, spare, spoil

a lightning rod

someone or something that takes all the blame for a situation, although other people or things are responsible too (often + for ) In a harsh economic climate, raises for teachers have become a lightning rod for criticism.
See also: lightning, rod

make a rod for your own back

to do something that is likely to cause problems for you in the future People say that if you let your baby sleep in your bed with you for the first few months, you're just making a rod for your own back.
See rule with a rod of iron
See also: back, make, rod

rule (somebody) with a rod of iron

  (British, American & Australian) also rule (somebody) with an iron fist/hand (American & Australian)
to control a group of people very firmly, having complete power over everything that they do For 17 years she ruled the country with a rod of iron. My uncle rules the family business with an iron hand.
See also: iron, of, rod, rule

hot rod

An automobile modified to increase its speed and acceleration, as in Kids love to tinker with cars and try to convert them into hot rods. [Mid-1900s] Also see hopped up.
See also: hot, rod

spare the rod and spoil the child

Discipline is necessary for good upbringing, as in She lets Richard get away with anything-spare the rod, you know. This adage appears in the Bible (Proverbs 13:24) and made its way into practically every proverb collection. It originally referred to corporal punishment. It is still quoted, often in shortened form, and today does not necessarily mean physical discipline.
See also: and, child, rod, spare, spoil

(hot) rod

n. a car that has been customized for power and speed by the owner. My rod’ll outrun yours any day.
See also: hot, rod



lightning rod

n. someone, something, or an issue that is certain to draw criticism. Why write such a boastful introduction to your book. I will just be a lightning rod for criticism.
See also: lightning, rod


1. n. a gun; a revolver. (Underworld.) I got a rod in my pocket. Don’t move.
2.  Go to (hot) rod.


n. the crankshaft of an engine. A wrinkle-rod’ll set you back about $199, plus installation charges, of course.