Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

hit the old dusty trail

cliché To leave or depart and be on one's way. "Old" is often shortened colloquially to "ol'." Well, it's getting late. I probably ought to be hitting the ol' dusty trail soon. Come on, have one more drink before you hit the old dusty trail.
See also: dusty, hit, old, trail

no better than (one) ought to be

Immoral or perverse, especially having a tendency toward sexual promiscuity. Typically said of a woman. They are quite old-fashioned, and think a woman whose boyfriend spends the night is no better than she ought to be.
See also: better, no, ought, to

there ought to be a law

Something objectionable that has happened or that someone did should be against the law. How can the flight be overbooked? I paid for a ticket, so I should have a seat on the plane. There ought to be a law! Behavior like that is just disgusting to me. There ought to be a law, I tell you!
See also: law, ought, there, to

this ought to be good

What the other person is about to say will likely be comically contrived and unconvincing. The phrase is used sarcastically to express the speaker's frustration and annoyance. This ought to be good! Yes, let's hear today's excuse for why your work is sloppy, Alex. A: "He said that he's going to call me tonight and explain why he's been MIA for the past month." B: "Really? Oh, this ought to be good!"
See also: good, ought, this, to

why I oughta

cliché Used to express anger or frustration with someone, as if one is considering inflicting violence upon them. "Oughta" is a colloquial contraction of "ought to." Typically used humorously. You ate the last chocolate bar! Why I oughta! A: "Whaddya mean you misplaced our money? Why I oughta…" B: "No, wait! I can get you your money, just don't hurt me!"
See also: oughta, why
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

There ought to be a law!

exclam. & comp. abb. There ought to be a law against what you just did or what I just saw happen. (Uttered when something happens that one does not like.) Listen to them talk like that. TOBAL!
See also: ought, there, to
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in classic literature ?
If any plan which has been, or may be, offered to our consideration, should not, upon a dispassionate inspection, be found to answer this description, it ought to be rejected.
The cannon ought to be planted in a country situated between 0@ and 28@ of N.
It ought to be pointed directly toward the zenith of the place.
The projectile ought to be propelled with an initial velocity of 12,000 yards per second.
The members of the Gun Club ought, therefore, without delay, to commence the works necessary for such an experiment, and to be prepared to set to work at the moment determined upon; for, if they should suffer this 4th of December to go by, they will not find the moon again under the same conditions of perigee and of zenith until eighteen years and eleven days afterward.
But that the objectors may be disarmed of every pretext, it shall be granted for a moment that the convention were neither authorized by their commission, nor justified by circumstances in proposing a Constitution for their country: does it follow that the Constitution ought, for that reason alone, to be rejected?
The sum of what has been here advanced and proved is, that the charge against the convention of exceeding their powers, except in one instance little urged by the objectors, has no foundation to support it; that if they had exceeded their powers, they were not only warranted, but required, as the confidential servants of their country, by the circumstances in which they were placed, to exercise the liberty which they assume; and that finally, if they had violated both their powers and their obligations, in proposing a Constitution, this ought nevertheless to be embraced, if it be calculated to accomplish the views and happiness of the people of America.
SOCRATES: And he ought to act and train, and eat and drink in the way which seems good to his single master who has understanding, rather than according to the opinion of all other men put together?
In questions of just and unjust, fair and foul, good and evil, which are the subjects of our present consultation, ought we to follow the opinion of the many and to fear them; or the opinion of the one man who has understanding?
SOCRATES: From these premisses I proceed to argue the question whether I ought or ought not to try and escape without the consent of the Athenians: and if I am clearly right in escaping, then I will make the attempt; but if not, I will abstain.
SOCRATES: Let us consider the matter together, and do you either refute me if you can, and I will be convinced; or else cease, my dear friend, from repeating to me that I ought to escape against the wishes of the Athenians: for I highly value your attempts to persuade me to do so, but I may not be persuaded against my own better judgment.
SOCRATES: Are we to say that we are never intentionally to do wrong, or that in one way we ought and in another way we ought not to do wrong, or is doing wrong always evil and dishonorable, as I was just now saying, and as has been already acknowledged by us?
SOCRATES: Then we ought not to retaliate or render evil for evil to any one, whatever evil we may have suffered from him.
SOCRATES: Then I will go on to the next point, which may be put in the form of a question:--Ought a man to do what he admits to be right, or ought he to betray the right?
Judges ought above all to remember the conclusion of the Roman Twelve Tables; Salus populi suprema lex; and to know that laws, except they be in order to that end, are but things captious, and oracles not well inspired.