catch (one) red-handed

(redirected from caught us red-handed)

catch (one) red-handed

To see, and perhaps apprehend, someone as they are doing something (often something nefarious). The phrase might have originally referred to blood on a murderer's hands. The police caught the robbers red-handed as they ransacked another house. Timmy tried to get into the cookie jar again, but I caught him red-handed.
See also: catch

caught red-handed

Seen or apprehended in the act of doing something, especially something illegal or nefarious. He tried to deny that he had stolen the money, but he was caught red-handed by security cameras.
See also: caught

catch someone red-handed

 and catch someone flat-footed
to catch a person in the act of doing something wrong. (See also caught red-handed.) Tom was stealing the car when the police drove by and caught him red-handed. Mary tried to cash a forged check at the bank, and the teller caught her red-handed.
See also: catch

catch red-handed

Also, catch in the act. Apprehend someone in the course of wrongdoing, as in The boys were trying to steal a car and the police caught them red-handed, or He tried to cheat on the exam, but his teacher walked in and caught him in the act. The first term referred to blood on a murderer's hands and originally signified only that crime. Later it was extended to any offense. The variant ( catch in the act) is a translation of the Latin in flagrante delicto, part of the Roman code and long used in English law.
See also: catch

catch someone red-handed

COMMON If you catch someone red-handed, you see or find them while they are doing something illegal or wrong. The burglar was on the roof and was caught red-handed by the police. They all pleaded guilty to conspiring to import drugs after being caught red-handed by customs officers. Note: The reference here is to a guilty person whose hands are covered in blood.
See also: catch, someone

catch somebody red-ˈhanded

find somebody while they are doing something wrong, committing a crime, etc: The thief was caught red-handed as she was emptying the till.This originally referred to catching a person with blood still on their hands after killing somebody.
See also: catch, somebody
References in periodicals archive ?
'While still a teenager, one day I along with my two other friends picked down corns from our cousin's field where Guldaa Kaka, an old watchman, caught us red-handed, scolded us for infringing the maize crop field but after a while took us to a corner of the field and advised us how to pick down corns without treading the crop,' said Mr Afghan.
The police caught us red-handed and I had to appear at juvenile court.
Doug was lost for words, and then he said, ''Fair enough, Tottie, you caught us red-handed -'' ''I''ll say I bleedin'' well did, and now you''re going to pay,'' was Tottie''s chilling reply, and with a twisted grin he said, ''I have always wanted to shoot someone, and now I''ve got an excuse!'' ''Don''t be daft, Tottie, you''ll hang.'' Doug stared wide-eyed at the barrel of the Luger.
"But we couldn't have been that quiet because one of the nuns caught us red-handed in the beam of her torch."
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