make (one) turn over in (one's) grave(redirected from made them turn over in their graves)
make (one) turn over in (one's) grave
To horribly dishonor the memory of someone who has passed away; to do something that would cause someone to be filled with shame, disgust, or disapproval if they were alive today The way you dress would make your grandmother turn over in her grave. Your grandfather built this company with his bare hands, and the atrocious way you've been running it would make him turn over in his grave!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
turn over in one's grave, (enough to make one)
An idea or action that would have greatly upset the deceased. This hyperbole dates from the mid-nineteenth century. “Jefferson might turn in his grave if he knew,” wrote historian James Bryce (The American Commonwealth, 1888). It also is put as to roll over in one’s grave, and the Boston Globe quoted Leah Rabin, the widow of Israel’s prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, in a headline, “Rabin spinning in his grave on Jerusalem, widow says” (Sept. 9, 2000).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer