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Related to railer: extortioner, trailer
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be off the rails

1. To be in a state of chaos, dysfunction, or disorder. Our project has been off the rails ever since the manager up and quit last month.
2. To be crazy, eccentric, or mentally unhinged. I think you should cut back on your drinking—you were totally off the rails last night!
See also: off, rail

ride the rail(s)

To travel on a vehicle mounted on rails (especially a train or streetcar). I know it takes a lot longer than flying, but I love riding the rail from Portland to Vancouver. People often romanticize riding the rails across the country as hobos did during the Great Depression, but I doubt many would actually find much pleasure in it.
See also: ride

be (as) thin as a rail

To be extremely skinny or slender. Primarily heard in US. Have you seen Claire lately? I'm really worried about her, she's as thin as a rail! I've always been thin as a rail, even when I tried to gain weight.
See also: rail, thin

rail against someone or something

to complain vehemently about someone or something. Why are you railing against me? What did I do? Leonard is railing against the tax increase again.
See also: rail

rail at someone (about something)

to complain loudly or violently to someone about something. Jane railed at the payroll clerk about not having received her check. I am not responsible for your problems. Don't rail at me!
See also: rail

go off the rails

also run off the rails
to be spoiled by bad management Things were going off the rails here, and no one was getting any work done. This is a well-intentioned system that has been run off the rails.
Etymology: from the idea of a train leaving the rails (metal bars) it travels on
See also: off, rail

be back on the rails

to be making progress once more The minister emerged from three hours of discussions, confident that the talks are now back on the rails. (British)
See also: back, rail

go off the rails

to start behaving strangely or in a way that is not acceptable to society He went off the rails in his twenties and started living on the streets. By the law of probabilities if you have five kids, one of them's going to go off the rails.
See also: off, rail

be as thin as a rake

  (British, American & Australian) also be as thin as a rail (mainly American)
to be very thin He eats like a horse and yet he's as thin as a rake. She's as thin as a rail from all that running.
See also: rake, thin

off the rails

In an abnormal or malfunctioning condition, as in Her political campaign has been off the rails for months. The phrase occurs commonly with go, as in Once the superintendent resigned, the effort to reform the school system went off the rails . This idiom alludes to the rails on which trains run; if a train goes off the rails, it stops or crashes. [Mid-1800s]
See also: off, rail

thin as a rail

Very slender, as in I do not know why she's dieting; she's thin as a rail already. This simile, which uses rail in the sense of "a narrow bar," has largely replaced such other versions as thin as a lath or rake, although the latter is still common in Britain. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: rail, thin

third rail

Something that is dangerous to tamper with, as in Anything concerning veterans is a political third rail. This term alludes to the rail that supplies the high voltage powering an electric train, so called since 1918. On the other hand, grab hold of the third rail means "become energized." Both shifts from the original meaning date from the late 1900s.
See also: rail, third

rail against

To protest something vehemently, especially using strong language: The students railed against the change to a longer school year.
See also: rail

rail at

To criticize someone or something in harsh, bitter, or abusive language: The workers railed at the new contract that cut medical benefits.
See also: rail


1. n. a story or argument; a story intended to seduce someone. (see also lines.) Don’t feed me that line. Do you think I was born yesterday?
2. and rail n. a dose of finely cut cocaine arranged in a line, ready for insufflation or snorting. Let’s you and me go do some lines, okay? The addict usually “snorts” one or two of these “rails” with some sort of a tube.


See line


n. powdered cocaine arranged into lines. (Drugs.) Max makes the rails too messy.
See also: rail
References in periodicals archive ?
She doesn't want any further than the 480m trip but, with four railers in behind her and a middle seed drawn in six (there's plenty to warrant the case for carnage at the first bend), she should be out in front and gone
Main danger is Droopys Hope, who is one of the stronger runners and should have plenty of racing room with five railers inside her.
EARLY-PACED railers Adamant George and Galtee Adele went to war in heat two of Romford's Bags/SIS 500 competition yesterday, writes Dave Johnston.
There was always going to be a lot of railers in the final and, as things have worked out, his only chance of winning is to be out-and-gone from the boxes.
The 500m Select Stakes field comprises railers Blue Artisan, Mill Bling Bling, Newinn Rocket and Taylors Sky, plus middle seeded duo Sawpit Sensation and Silverview Perky.
Railers Aero Gaga, Ballyard Buddy, Thank Will and Tynwald Tom will be joined by wides Bubbly Capel and Capoley Ash.
Railers went on to dominate heat two as well when Kevin Hutton's GLENBANE AIR (7-1) broke best and was able to dictate terms from start to finish.
Kelly Findlay's charge, who was as short as 4-9 to win his heat in the morning, was sent off a very generous 6-4F due to concerns of a going bias in favour of the railers, on what was a very slow track.
THE order in which middle seeds are allocated a trap draw is to be changed from April 2 with the current 'outside-in' scenario reversed so that the first middle drawn will receive the first trap outside any railers rather than that inside any wides, writes Jonathan Kay.
For example, in a race with three railers and three middle seeds the first middle runner would previously have been allocated trap six, under the new rule it will now be allocated trap four.
Without doubt the widest of today's sextet, June McCombe's black has a great-looking draw - unless there's an inside bias again - and can slip round the outer as the early paced railers battle for position.