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rob the till

To steal the earnings of a shop or restaurant from out of its cash register. Just remember, this place has insurance, so if anyone comes in with a gun looking to rob the till, you don't offer up any resistance, OK? I hear Janet was fired from her last job for robbing the till.
See also: rob, till

rob Peter to pay Paul

Fig. to take or borrow from one in order to give or pay something owed to another. Why borrow money to pay your bills? That's just robbing Peter to pay Paul. There's no point in robbing Peter to pay Paul. You will still be in debt.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob someone blind

1. Fig. to steal freely from someone. Her maid was robbing her blind. I don't want them to rob me blind. Keep an eye on them.
2. Fig. to overcharge someone. You are trying to rob me blind. I won't pay it! Those auto repair shops can rob you blind if you don't watch out.
See also: blind, rob

rob someone of something

to deprive someone of something, not necessarily by theft. What you have done has robbed me of my dignity! If you do that, you will rob yourself of your future.
See also: of, rob

rob the cradle

Fig. to marry or date someone who is much younger than oneself. I hear that Bill is dating Ann. Isn't that sort of robbing the cradle? She's much younger than he is. Uncle Billwho is nearly eightymarried a thirty-year-old woman. That is really robbing the cradle.
See also: cradle, rob

hand in the till, with one's

Also, with one's fingers in the till; have one's hand in the cookie jar. Stealing from one's employer. For example, He was caught with his hand in the till and was fired immediately, or They suspected she had her hand in the cookie jar but were waiting for more evidence. The noun till has been used for a money box or drawer since the 15th century; cookie jar, perhaps alluding to the "sweets" of money, dates only from about 1940.
See also: hand

rob Peter to pay Paul

Take from one to give to another, shift resources. For example, They took out a second mortgage on their house so they could buy a condo in Florida-they're robbing Peter to pay Paul . Although legend has it that this expression alludes to appropriating the estates of St. Peter's Church, in Westminster, London, to pay for the repairs of St. Paul's Cathedral in the 1800s, the saying first appeared in a work by John Wycliffe about 1382.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob someone blind

Cheat someone in an unusually deceitful or thorough fashion, as in The nurse was robbing the old couple blind. This idiom may allude to robbing a blind beggar, who cannot see that the cup collecting donations is being emptied. [Mid-1900s]
See also: blind, rob

rob the cradle

Have a romantic or sexual relationship with someone much younger than oneself, as in The old editor was notorious for robbing the cradle, always trying to date some young reporter . [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
See also: cradle, rob

steal someone blind

Also, rob someone blind. Rob or cheat someone mercilessly, as in Ann always maintained that children would steal their parents blind. The allusion here is unclear. Possibly it means stealing everything, including someone's sight. [Mid-1900s]
See also: blind, steal

we wuz robbed

Also, we was robbed or we were robbed. We were cheated out of a victory; we were tricked or outsmarted. For example, That ball was inside the lines-we wuz robbed! This expression, with its attempt to render nonstandard speech, has been attributed to fight manager Joe Jacobs (1896-1940), who uttered it on June 21, 1932, after his client, Max Schmeling, had clearly out-boxed Jack Sharkey, only to have the heavy-weight title awarded to Sharkey. It is still used, most often in a sports context.
See also: rob, we



robbing the cradle

Cradle-snatching is the practice of having a sexual relationship with a much younger partner. The woman is even older than his mother. It's cradle snatching! There'll always be those who accuse you of robbing the cradle. Note: You can describe someone who does this in British English as a cradle snatcher or, in American English, as a cradle robber. The ageing actress is a cradle snatcher, says her toyboy's family. Women who make off with men 15 to 30 years younger are viewed as neurotic cradle robbers. Note: These expressions are usually used in a disapproving way.

be robbing Peter to pay Paul

If someone is robbing Peter to pay Paul, they are using money that is meant for one thing to pay for something else. I have not starved yet but I am very conscious of failing to pay back debts, of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob of

1. To deprive someone of something by stealing it: The thief robbed us of our money. I was robbed of my car.
2. To deprive something or someone of something, to injurious effect: This parasite robs trees of sap. The malicious rumor robbed me of my professional standing.
See also: of, rob

rob someone blind

1. tv. to steal freely from someone. Her maid was robbing her blind.
2. tv. to overcharge someone. Those auto repair shops can rob you blind if you don’t watch out.
See also: blind, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul

To incur a debt in order to pay off another debt.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob

rob (someone) blind

To rob in an unusually deceitful or thorough way: robbed the old couple blind while employed as a companion.
See also: blind, rob

rob the cradle

To have a romantic or sexual relationship with someone significantly younger than oneself.
See also: cradle, rob

rob Peter to pay Paul

Use funds from one source to repay a debt. If you use one credit card to pay off another, even if you're benefiting by buying time, you're robbing Peter to pay Paul. How the phrase came to be associated with what would seem to be the two apostles is a mystery, since neither was associated with precarious financial planning.
See also: Paul, pay, peter, rob
References in periodicals archive ?
Within minutes, a liquor store was robbed less than three miles away in the 16000 block of Nordhoff Street, again by two armed men.
Ventry's Pizza had been robbed three times in the previous month, and police spokesman Captain Ernest Palmer said that several pizza delivery drivers had been robbed recently.
January 14: Smethwick, robbed Edgar Jones 83 (now deceased) of pounds 260 and a wallet
In the Corydalis studies, bumblebees doing real pollinating flew longer distances between stops when working a robbed flower patch, compared with a relatively unmolested one.
There are 3,500 financial institutions in the region, the FBI says, and nearly two are robbed each business day.
On February 22nd, this time adorned with a black wig and again armed with a shotgun, Breedlove allegedly robbed the store of $900, with the same accomplice driving the getaway car.
He allegedly robbed a Washington Mutual in Pacific Palisades on Aug.
Detectives later used Brandon's photograph in a photo lineup shown to an employee in one of the stores that was robbed, and the employee picked Brandon, Jennings said.
16, minutes before robbers forced their way into the elderly couple's home, robbed them and ordered them into the couple's car.
Police said Brown successfully robbed Posters five times in the past five weeks.
3, the bandit robbed the Cruise Thru Dairy in the 500 block of East Avenue J, officials said.
CANYON COUNTRY - A Washington Mutual Bank branch robbed March 2 was hit again Wednesday, but most of the money was recovered near the scene after a dye pack hidden with the cash exploded, officials said.
The Downey Savings and Loan in Westlake Village was robbed Feb.
In less than an hour Friday night, the Subway on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus and the Baskin-Robbins on The Old Road in Valencia were robbed by a tall, thin, white man, about 35 years old, authorities said.
Four Palmdale teen-agers trying to gain notoriety for their street gang robbed the minimart at a gasoline station early Wednesday, then were arrested after they took time to stop and eat stolen food, authorities said.