rake over the coals


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Related to rake over the coals: rake over old coals, rubbing shoulders, picking up the slack

rake (one) over the coals

To scold, reprimand, or reprove someone severely for an error or mistake. I was raked over the coals by my boss last week for messing up the accounting software. I know Mary messed up, but don't rake her over the coals too hard for it.
See also: coal, over, rake

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, over, 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, over, rake

rake over the coals

To reprimand severely.
See also: coal, over, rake