a bum rap

a bum rap

An unfair accusation, punishment, or reputation. Tommy was sent to jail on a bum rap because of his prior criminal history, but we know he didn't rob that bank—he was with us the day it happened! He didn't get elected because he got such a bum rap from the mainstream media during his campaign.
See also: bum, rap

a bum rap

  (American informal)
blame or punishment that is not fair Teachers are getting a bum rap from people who say they don't work hard enough. She was sent up to the penitentiary on a bum rap.
See also: bum, rap
References in periodicals archive ?
IT WAS a bum rap for a man found by police with what was believed to be cocaine and heroin stashed up his backside.
And police say this stupid passenger could face a bum rap when they track him down.
Used cars often get a bum rap, but these cars are not all bad.
But Neil told me: "The town has had a bit of a bum rap.
For a refutation of von Munchhausen's possibly undeserved reputation, see Patterson's historical review entitled, "The Munchausen syndrome: Baron yon Munchhausen has taken a bum rap.
Again, Zuckoff argues that Ponzi got a bum rap and was merely the victim of circumstance and anti-Italian prejudice.
Every Cabinet member knows Mandelson was removed on a bum rap.
The chairman has his critics but my view, as someone who is fresh [in the job], is that he gets a bum rap.
Interestingly enough, the petition seemed worried, not only that Olsen was getting a bum rap for being outed, but that gay people were getting a bum rap for being associated with the cub reporter
Nass: Frequent bathing has been given a bum rap as being responsible for causing dry, parched, and cracking skin.
Bill Clinton claims "Pardongate" is a bum rap and that narcissism is not the driving motivation in his life.
Broad grouses that an overaggressive business press seldom misses a chance to attack the high fees of annuities, giving the product a bum rap.
REFEREE Ray Olivier has offered to save Sheffield Wednesday's Steve MacLean from a bum rap - and a club fine.
MOVIE queen Cameron Diaz may be stunning on screen but she's on a bum rap when it comes to table manners.