rabbit


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horse and rabbit stew

A situation comprised of both crude or unpleasant things as well as those which are pleasing or beneficial, usually with the former in greater proportion to the latter. Used especially in reference to economics or business. The prime minister's plan for the economic recovery is little more than horse and rabbit stew, with a few token stimulus incentives greatly outweighed by draconian austerity measures.
See also: and, horse, rabbit, stew

go down the rabbit hole

To enter into a situation or begin a process or journey that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds. (An allusion to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.) Owning your own business is a huge responsibility that not everyone is prepared for. Are you sure you're ready to go down the rabbit hole? I've stayed away from drugs and alcohol since coming to college. I have an addictive personality, so I decided to just avoid going down that rabbit hole altogether. Overhauling the current tax legislation is a rabbit hole I don't think this administration should go down at this point.
See also: down, hole, rabbit

rabbit hole

A situation, journey, or process that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds. An allusion to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, it is used especially in the phrase "(go) down the rabbit hole." Overhauling the current tax legislation is a rabbit hole I don't think this administration should go down at this point. I've stayed away from drugs and alcohol since coming to college. I have an addictive personality, so I decided to just avoid that rabbit hole altogether.
See also: hole, rabbit

the rabbit died

The woman to whom we are referring is pregnant; the pregnancy test was positive. (From an early pregnancy test developed in 1931 in which the urine of a woman thought to be pregnant was injected into a female rabbit; if the woman was pregnant, the rabbit's ovaries would react. A common misconception at the time was that the rabbit would die if the woman was pregnant, hence the expression.) I saw Carol shopping for maternity clothes in the mall the other day. I guess the rabbit died! Honey, the rabbit died! It looks like we're going to have a baby!
See also: die, rabbit

be like a deer caught in the headlights

To be visibly startled and frozen in fear. I was like a deer caught in the headlights when my mom asked about that hideous sweater she gave me. When the security alarm started blaring, the burglar was like a deer caught in the headlights.
See also: caught, deer, headlight, like

breed like rabbits

slang To have several babies in a short period of time. (Rabbits are known to produce a large number of offspring very rapidly.) I can't believe my sister is pregnant for the fourth time in five years. She and her husband just breed like rabbits!
See also: breed, like, rabbit

pull a rabbit out of a hat

To do something surprising and seemingly impossible; to produce something in a way that has no obvious explanation, as if done by magic. A reference to the magician's trick of literally pulling a live rabbit out of a hat. The caterer really pulled a rabbit out of a hat by producing 100 cupcakes with just 20 minutes' notice. Unless someone can pull a rabbit out of a hat, we're out of solutions.
See also: hat, of, out, pull, rabbit

pull something out of a hat

 and pull something out of thin air 
1. Lit. [for a magician] to make something, such as a live rabbit, seem to appear by pulling it out of a top hat or out of the air. He pulled a rabbit out of a hat and then pulled a chicken out of thin air.
2. Fig. to produce something seemingly out of nowhere. Where am I going to get the money? I can't just pull it out of a hat! I don't know where she found the book. She pulled it out of thin air, I guess.
See also: hat, of, out, pull

pull a rabbit out of your hat

also pull a rabbit out of a hat
to do something surprising You didn't know how the story would end and then the author pulled a rabbit out of her hat, and it all made sense.
Usage notes: sometimes used to describe a surprising solution to a problem: The governor pulled a rabbit out of a hat by putting together a budget without increasing taxes.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of pull a rabbit out of a hat, which is often done as a magic trick
See also: hat, of, out, pull, rabbit

breed like rabbits

  (informal)
if people breed like rabbits, they produce too many babies very quickly It's like I was saying to Derek, they all intermarry and they breed like rabbits.
See also: breed, like, rabbit

be like a deer/rabbit caught in the headlights

to be so frightened or surprised that you cannot move or think Each time they asked him a question he was like a deer caught in the headlights.
See also: caught, deer, headlight, like

pull a rabbit out of the hat

to surprise everyone by suddenly doing something that shows a lot of skill, often in order to solve a problem
Usage notes: Pulling a rabbit out of a hat is something that is often done by a person who performs magic tricks.
He's one of those players who, just when you think the game's over, can pull a rabbit out of the hat.
See also: hat, of, out, pull, rabbit

pull out of a hat

Produce suddenly and surprisingly, as if by magic. For example, We can't just pull the answers out of a hat. This expression alludes to the magician's trick of pulling some unexpected object out of a hat. That object is often a rabbit, and the expression pull a rabbit out of a hat is often used to mean "get magical results," as in Much as I would like to be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat, I doubt if I can find further funding for this project .
See also: hat, of, out, pull

pants rabbits

n. lice. (see also seam-squirrels. Contrived.) Bart is sure scratching a lot. Do you think he’s got pants rabbits?
See also: pant, rabbit

rabbit food

n. lettuce; salad greens. Rabbit food tends to have a lot of vitamin C.
See also: food, rabbit

rabbit punch

n. a quick little punch. (Boxing and general slang.) She battered him with about forty rabbit punches on the arm. Boy, is he ever sore!
See also: punch, rabbit
References in classic literature ?
Who else could have been charming rabbits and pheasants as the natives charm snakes in India?
ONCE upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were-- Flopsy,
Then she handed it through the bars to the rabbit, who took it in his paws and opened it.
As it was, he tied on his snowshoes, left the dogs curled in the snow and Kama breathing heavily under his rabbit skins, and climbed up to the big flat above the high earth-bank.
And in that moment the sapling reared its slender length upright and the rabbit soared dancing in the air again.
You, sir," - turning to the superior animal - "are, as he has accurately observed, a rabbit.
But I fear," he added, laughing naturally enough, "that my rabbit is leading me a long way from the track of my legitimate quarry: I'm indulging in the pleasure of the chase for its own sake.
The distinction of the rabbit as a species, is taken from peculiarities in the fur, from the shape of the head, and from the shortness of the ears.
In the twilight and the night the rabbits came regularly and made a hearty meal.
Trail, trail, went her long dress over the sopping grass, and she came back with her hands full of the hay that was cut yesterday--I suppose for rabbits or something, as she kept on smelling it.
The iron--I mean the rabbit came off the fire about that time.
Buck did not know of this, and as he rounded the bend, the frost wraith of a rabbit still flitting before him, he saw another and larger frost wraith leap from the overhanging bank into the immediate path of the rabbit.
I told him I thought he might better spare all his rabbits than she her cat, for which audacious assertion he treated me to some rather ungentlemanly language; and I fear I retorted a trifle too warmly.
Poor driven people of the abyss, hunted helots--they lay there as the rabbits in California after a drive.
At that moment, the door of the room flew open and in came four Rabbits as black as ink, carrying a small black coffin on their shoulders.