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A wife's reprimands to her husband, conducted in private. Honey, you know I hate to give you curtain lectures, but can you please call when you're going to be late, so that our dinner isn't cold?
lecture (one) for (something)
To give one a stern, chastising talk to one for some mistake or failing. He started lecturing me again for not doing my share of chores around the house. Instead of just lecturing your staff for not meeting their sales targets, try incentivizing them in various ways.
lecture at (one)
To give one a stern talk meant to educate or enlighten. Every time my parents start lecturing at me about fiscal responsibility, I just try to tune them out. Instead of just lecturing at your staff, why don't you try leading by example?
See also: lecture
read (one) a lecture
To scold, reprimand, or reprove someone severely for an error or mistake. I was read a lecture by my boss last week for messing up the accounting software. I know Mary messed up, but there was no need to read her a lecture for it.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lecture at someone (about something)
to talk to someone about something in the manner of a lecture. There is no need to lecture at me about the problem. I know how serious the matter is. Don't lecture at me all the time!
See also: lecture
lecture someone for something
to give someone a talking-to about something. Please don't lecture me for being late. It won't help now, will it? There is no point in lecturing us for something we didn't do.
lecture((to) someone) about someone or something and lecture ((to) someone) on someone or something
1. to give an instructional speech to someone about someone or something. He always lectured his children about their duty to vote. She lectured to all her classes on employment opportunities.
2. to scold someone about someone or something. Please don't lecture me about my behavior. I like Ted! Don't lecture about him.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
read a lecture
Also, read a lesson. Issue a reprimand, as in Dad read us a lecture after the teacher phoned and complained. The first term dates from the late 1500s, the variant from the early 1600s. Also see read the riot act; teach a lesson.
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.
A reprimand that a wife gives her husband. “Curtain” refers to the drapery on canopied beds; the image is that of a wife giving hubby a piece of her mind in the privacy of their bedroom.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price