river

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cry (someone) a river

Said sarcastically to someone whose whining, complaints, or tears fall on unsympathetic ears. Most often said as "cry me a river." You can cry me a river, but you're still not going to that party tonight! A: "It's so unfair, I work so hard, but I only get a raise every two years!" B: "Oh, cry me a river, I haven't gotten a raise since I first started working!"
See also: cry, river

Don't change horses in the middle of the river.

1. Proverb Do not try to choose or back a different political figure for an election after the decision has already been made or the position filled. Many people are dissatisfied with the senator's performance but will likely carry his party's support through to the next election—don't change horses in the middle of the river, as the saying goes.
2. Proverb By extension, do not make major changes to a situation or course of action that is already underway. I'm really not confident in the strength of my essay, but I guess I just have to see this one through at this point. Like they say, don't change horses in the middle of the river.
See also: change, horse, middle, of

Don't swap horses in the middle of the river.

1. Proverb Do not try to choose or back a different political figure for an election after the decision has already been made or the position filled. Many people are dissatisfied with the senator's performance but will likely carry his party's support through to the next election—don't swap horses in the middle of the river, as the saying goes.
2. Proverb By extension, do not make major changes to a situation or course of action that is already underway. I'm really not confident in the strength of my essay, but I guess I just have to see this one through at this point. Like they say, don't swap horses in the middle of the river.
See also: horse, middle, of, swap

sail up a river

to travel upstream on a river in a boat or ship. We sailed up the Amazon River in a large, seagoing ship. It was not possible to sail up the Mississippi as far as we wanted.
See also: river, sail, up

sell out (to someone)

 
1. to sell everything, such as all one's property or one's company, to someone. The farmer finally gave up and sold out to a large corporation. I refuse to sell out no matter what they offer me.
2. to betray someone or something to someone. I think that you have sold out to the enemy!
See also: out, sell

sell out (to someone)

 
1. to sell everything, such as all one's property or one's company, to someone. The farmer finally gave up and sold out to a large corporation. I refuse to sell out no matter what they offer me.
2. to betray someone or something to someone. I think that you have sold out to the enemy!
See also: out, sell

sell someone out

 and sell someone down the river
to betray someone; to reveal damaging information about someone. Bill told everything he knew about Bob, and that sold Bob down the river. You'll be sorry if you sell me out. Lefty sold out his friends, and we'll all soon be arrested.
See also: out, sell

sell something out

to sell all of something. Have they sold their supply out yet? The stores sold out their stocks of that game long before Christmas.
See also: out, sell

send someone up the river

Fig. to send someone to prison. (Underworld. As done by a judge or indirectly by the police.) They tried to send me up the river, but my testimony got me off. I'm gonna send you up the river if it's the last thing I do.
See also: river, send, up

up the river

Sl. in prison. (Underworld.) Gary was up the river for a couple of years, but that doesn't make him an outcast, does it? The judge who sent him up the river was indicted for accepting bribery. If Gary had only known sooner!
See also: river, up

sell somebody down the river

to do something that hurts someone who trusted you Workers complained that their leaders sold them down the river in the latest contract negotiations.
Related vocabulary: sell out somebody/something
See also: down, river, sell

sell out

to accept money to stop following your principles So many musicians simply sell out to the demands of the industry and abandon their art.
See also: out, sell

sell out somebody/something

also sell somebody/something out
to stop being loyal to someone or something He accused Congress of selling out the American people to lawyers who opposed the bill. I could sell you all out and go straight to the police with this information.
Usage notes: often money is the advantage that is gotten: Anyone who would sell out his own country for money deserves to go to prison for life.
Related vocabulary: sell somebody down the river
See also: out, sell

sell out (of something)

to sell all of something, so that there is none left We sold out of the souvenir T-shirts in the first couple of hours. During the summer the campgrounds are sold out each night. Her cruises regularly book up months in advance and almost always sell out.
See also: out, sell

sell somebody down the river

to do something which harms or disappoints someone who trusted you, in order to get an advantage for yourself A lot of people feel they have been sold down the river by a government who have failed to keep their pre-election promises.
See also: down, river, sell

sell down the river

Betray, as in They kept the merger a secret until the last minute, so the employees who were laid off felt they'd been sold down the river . This expression, dating from the mid-1800s, alludes to slaves being sold down the Mississippi River to work as laborers on cotton plantations. Its figurative use dates from the late 1800s.
See also: down, river, sell

sell out

1. Dispose of entirely by selling. For example, The rancher finally sold out to the oil company, or The tickets to the concert were sold out a month ago. [Late 1700s]
2. Betray one's cause or colleagues, as in He sold out to the other side. [Slang; late 1800s]
See also: out, sell

up the river

To or in prison, as in They sent him up the river for five years. This phrase originally referred to Sing-Sing Prison, on the Hudson River about 30 miles north of New York City. So used from about 1890 on, it was broadened to apply to any prison by the early 1900s.
See also: river, up

sell out

v.
1. To be sold completely: The tickets will sell out by tomorrow.
2. To sell one's entire supply of a particular item: I'm afraid we sold out all our ice cream, kids! The hardware store sold out of plywood as the hurricane moved closer to shore.
3. To cause some supply of merchandise to be sold completely. Used in the passive: We can't get into the theater because the tickets are sold out.
4. To cause some vendor to sell its entire supply of something. Used in the passive: I wanted to buy more spoons, but the store was sold out.
5. To sell one's entire stake in a business or venture: The owners of the liquor store plan to sell out as soon as they can find a buyer.
6. To betray one's cause or colleagues, especially for money: The disloyal baseball player sold out to another team.
7. To betray someone or something, especially for money: The manager sold out his staff in order to keep his own job. Our agent sold us out when she moved to a better company and dropped us as a client.
See also: out, sell

send someone up the river

tv. to send someone to prison. (Underworld. As done by a judge or indirectly by the police.) They tried to send me up the river, but my lip got me off.
See also: river, send, up

up the river

mod. in prison. (Underworld.) The judge who sent him up the river was indicted for accepting bribery. If Gary had only known sooner!
See also: river, up

up the river

Slang
In or into prison.
See also: river, up

sell down the river

Informal
To betray the trust or faith of.
See also: down, river, sell

up the river

In jail. The infamous Sing Sing Correctional Facility, located in the town of Ossining thirty miles north of New York City, sits on the Hudson River shoreline. Any criminal convicted in a New York court and sentenced to be imprisoned there was sent “up the river.” The phrase, made popular in gangster movies, began to be applied to other prisons in the country, whether or not the cells boasted of a river view. “Up the river” should not be confused with “sold down the river,” meaning “deceived” and derived from the antebellum practice of Northern slaveholders selling troublesome slaves down the Mississippi River for a life of endless toil on cotton plantations.
See also: river, up
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