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rake over old coals

To revisit, dredge up, or talk about something that happened in the past, especially that which is unpleasant. Primarily heard in UK. Now, now, there's no need to rake over old coals, that disagreement happened a long time ago.
See also: coal, old, rake

rake (something) together

To accumulate from various sources, especially in small amounts of increments. (Often said of money.) I'm trying to rake enough funds together to go on a trip to Florida this summer. There's no way you'll be able to rake together the votes necessary to pass this amendment.
See also: rake, together

(as) thin as a rake

Extremely skinny or slender. Primarily heard in UK. Have you seen Claire lately? She's become as thin as a rake in the last six months! I've always been thin as a rake, even when I tried to gain weight.
See also: rake, thin


Profits made from a transaction, usually in an inappropriate, illegal, or dishonest way. The mayor quickly resigned after it was discovered he was taking a rake-off from the local cartel's drug sales.

rake over the ashes

To revisit, bring up, or spark the memory of something that happened in the past, especially something unpleasant. Now, now, there's no need to rake over the ashes, that disagreement we had happened a long time ago.
See also: ash, rake

be (as) thin as a rake

To be extremely skinny or slender. I'm really worried about Claire, she's as thin as a rake! I've always been thin as a rake, even when I try to pack on some muscle.
See also: rake, thin


1. adjective Characterized by trying to find out unpleasant information about someone, so as to damage his or her public reputation. (Used before a noun.) I think your "newspaper" is just gossipy trash written by muck-raking vultures.
2. noun The act of gathering such information. I hate the muck-raking that goes on ad nauseum during an election season.

rag on someone

 and rake on someone
Sl. to bother someone; to irritate someone; to criticize and humiliate someone. I wish you would stop ragging on me. I don't know why you are so annoyed at me. Stop raking on me!
See also: on, rag

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 something around

to spread something around with a rake. She raked the leaves around, spreading them over the flower beds as natural fertilizer. I need to rake around the soil and stir it up.
See also: around, rake

rake something in

1. Lit. to drawer pull something inward with a rake. Jane is raking in the leaves into a big pile.
2. Fig. to take in a lot of something, usually money. Our candidate will rake votes in by the thousand. They were raking in money by the bushel.
See also: rake

rake something off (of) something

 and rake something off
to remove something from something by raking. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Please rake the leaves off the lawn. Rake off the leaves.
See also: off, rake

rake something out of something

 and rake something out
to clean something out of something by raking. You ought to rake the leaves out of the gutter so the water will flow. Please rake out the leaves.
See also: of, out, rake

rake something up

1. Lit. to gather and clean up something with a rake. Would you please rake these leaves up before it rains? Please rake up the leaves.
2. to clean something up by raking. Would you rake the yard up? I will rake up the yard.
3. Fig. to find some unpleasant information. His opposition raked an old scandal up and made it public. That is ancient history. Why did you have to rake up that old story?
See also: rake, up

rake through something

Fig. [for someone] to rummage through something, as if with a rake. She quickly raked through the mass of loose papers, looking for the right one. I will have to rake through everything in this drawer to find a red pencil.
See also: rake, through

rake off

Make an unlawful profit, as in They suspected her of raking off some of the campaign contributions for her personal use . This expression alludes to the raking of chips by an attendant at a gambling table. [Late 1800s]
See also: off, 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 up

Revive, bring to light, especially something unpleasant, as in She was raking up old gossip. [Late 1500s]
See also: rake, up

haul someone over the coals


rake someone over the coals

If a person, especially someone in authority, hauls someone over the coals or rakes someone over the coals, they speak to them very severely about something foolish or wrong that they have done. Lewis was hauled over the coals by English football authorities over his conduct in the match. Taylor was hauled over the coals for wasting police time. She was raked over the coals by an opponent who compared her to a convicted tax evader. Note: This expression may refer to a practice in medieval times of deciding whether or not someone was guilty of heresy, or saying things which disagreed with the teachings of the Church. The person accused of heresy was dragged over burning coals. If they burned to death they were considered guilty, but if they survived, they were considered innocent.
See also: coal, haul

be raking over the coals


be raking over the ashes

mainly BRITISH
If someone is raking over the coals or is raking over the ashes, they are talking about something that happened in the past which you think should now be forgotten. Yes, we made mistakes in the past, but let us not waste time raking over the coals when there is hard work to be done. Why must we keep raking over the ashes, causing distress to so many people?
See also: coal, rake

thin as a rake


thin as a stick

If someone is as thin as a rake or thin as a stick, they are very thin. He was as thin as a rake as though he were suffering from some terrible disease. I'd always been as thin as a stick but in London my weight went up to more than 12 stone. Note: Other nouns such as rail or lath can be used instead of rake or stick. She was blue-eyed, tall, thin as a rail, pale as paper and very young. Note: You can also say that someone is stick thin or rake thin. They are well made clothes designed for real women, not stick thin size 10s.
See also: rake, thin

rag on

v. Slang
1. To tease or taunt someone: My older cousins used to rag on me when I was young.
2. To criticize someone severely; berate or scold someone: The supervisor ragged on the workers for being lazy.
See also: on, rag

rake in

To win, earn, or gain something in abundance: The new business they set up is raking in a lot of cash. You certainly raked in a lot of prizes at the carnival last night!
See also: rake

rake over

To revisit or reexamine something in detail, especially something that is unpleasant: I don't want to rake over past arguments. They insisted on raking the story over many times.
See also: rake

rake up

1. To collect or gather something with or as if with a rake: After I had cut the grass, I raked up the trimmings and piled them in a heap. We raked the leaves up.
2. To revive or bring something to light; uncover something: When he runs out of things to say, he rakes old stories up from his days in the army. She is sure to rake up an embarrassing story or two about me!
See also: rake, up

rag on someone

and rake on someone
in. to bother someone; to irritate someone; to criticize and humiliate someone. The kids all raked on Jed because of his intelligence. I wish you would stop ragging on me. I don’t know why you are so annoyed at me.
See also: on, rag

rake on someone

See also: on, rake

rake something in

tv. to take in a lot of something, usually money. Our candidate will rake votes in by the thousand.
See also: rake, something

rake over the coals

To reprimand severely.
See also: coal, rake
References in periodicals archive ?
Pig came out to finish raking her yard--but her yard was all clear
The device also eliminates the awkward raking procedure of two workers standing on the tarp, as well as the clumsy use of rocks and stakes.
Remove it regularly by raking with a spring-tine rake at least twice a year, in spring and autumn.
When raking, don't twist your body; instead, use your legs to shift your weight, switching sides frequently," he warned.
A few blocks away, Danna and Greg Skillman were both raking leaves from a sycamore.
Meanwhile over at the Label, Pat "The Street Rake" Rakestraw will be raking the streets as a Six Gun pro and moving out of the closet and into plush Hollywood digs with misfit-no-more Patrick Melcher.
Another measure of the degree to which high-school academic courses have been watered down is provided by achievement scores in districts and schools where more children are raking academic courses.
The Allsop Home Garden's version called the Wheel Easy is longer and more shallow in design (great for raking leaves into it) and has an all-steel construction so it can hold up to 350 pounds, but it's an investment at $129.
AS the leaves rain down about our ears and block all the drains in the street, many Sunday Mercury readers will be turning to ways of raking them up.
The soft, flexible tines are effective for gently raking ground covers and other uneven surfaces.
Every fall, thousands of Wisconsinites hurt their backs raking leaves, cleaning gutters and doing other seasonal yard work.
Wait until the soil in the lawn has drained and dried, then give the grass a vigorous raking using a flexible-tined (fingered) rake.
Lyle Ethington came up with the idea for the Amazing Rake while raking up his barn.
Suzanne Hamilton, head of creative arts at the school, said: "We are all very excited about being able to perform our new piece at this year's Moon raking Festival.
Whether it's raking leaves, shoveling snow, or cleaning out the garage, your back muscles will be strained and abused.