rake over the coals

(redirected from haul someone over the coals)

rake someone over the coals

 and haul someone over the coals
Fig. to give someone a severe scolding. My mother hauled me over the coals for coming in late last night. The manager raked me over the coals for being late again.
See also: coal, rake

rake over the coals

to talk about unpleasant things from the past that other people would prefer not to talk about (usually in continuous tenses) There's no point in raking over the coals - all that happened twenty years ago, and there's nothing we can do about it now.
See also: coal, rake

rake over the coals

Also, haul over the coals. Reprimand severely, as in When Dad finds out about the damage to the car, he's sure to rake Peter over the coals, or The coach hauled him over the coals for missing practice. These terms allude to the medieval torture of pulling a heretic over red-hot coals. [Early 1800s]
See also: coal, rake

rake over the coals

To reprimand severely.
See also: coal, rake