get the third degree

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get the third degree

To be interrogated, scrutinized, or questioned intensely or thoroughly by someone. My boyfriend is so controlling that I always get the third degree if I go anywhere or see anyone without him. I got the third degree from the police regarding my whereabouts during the crime.
See also: degree, get, third
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

third degree, to give/get the

To give or be subjected to intensive questioning and/or rough treatment. In Freemasonry, the third and highest degree is that of master mason, attained after a stiff examination, and several writers speculate that this may be the source of the late nineteenth-century expression for an inquisition. Today the term is used both for the sometimes brutal tactics of the police and other authorities to make a prisoner tell the truth or reveal secrets, and more lightly for questioning about less important matters, as in “Jane gave Martha the third degree about her good-looking new boss.”
See also: get, give, third, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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