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1. noun An unfair accusation, punishment, or reputation. Tommy was sent to jail on a bum rap because of his prior criminal history, but we know he didn't rob that bank—he was with us the day it happened! He didn't get elected because he got such a bum rap from the mainstream media during his campaign.
2. verb To speak badly, or perhaps lie, about someone. Often hyphenated. Oh, that guy is always bum-rapping—you can't trust him.
To speak badly, or perhaps lie, about someone. If you keep bum-rapping about people like that, you're going to have a hard time making friends.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A false accusation or conviction; also, unfair criticism or action. For example, He claimed he was in prison on a bum rap, or The theater critics gave her last play a bum rap. This expression originated in the 1920s as underworld slang, and by the mid-1900s it was also used figuratively for other kinds of injustice.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. n. a false criminal charge. (Underworld. The same as bad rap.) This is a bum rap, and you know it.
2. and bum-rap tv. to talk ill about someone; to accuse someone of something falsely. You’re always bum-rapping your car!
See bum rap
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.