raise Cain


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raise Cain

To cause or get into trouble; to engage in unrestrained and excessively disruptive behavior. (A reference to the biblical figure Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve, who killed his brother Abel and was cursed by God.) I started raising Cain as soon as I was in college and could do what I wanted, but I mellowed out after I graduated. The customer has been raising Cain about the service charge we included on his bill.
See also: Cain, raise

raise Cain

to make a lot of trouble; to raise hell. (A Biblical reference, from Genesis 4.) Fred was really raising Cain about the whole matter. Let's stop raising Cain.
See also: Cain, raise

raise Cain

Also, raise hell or the devil . Behave in a rowdy or disruptive way, as in He said he'd raise Cain if they wouldn't give him a refund, or The gang was out to raise hell that night, or The wind raised the devil with our picnic. The first term alludes to the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother, Abel. It was first recorded in the St. Louis Daily Pennant (May 2, 1840): "Why have we every reason to believe that Adam and Eve were both rowdies? Because ... they both raised Cain.". This statement makes a pun on raise, meaning "bring up" or "nurturing." The two variants, alluding to bringing hell or the devil up to this world, are older, the first from about 1700, the second from about 1800.
See also: Cain, raise

raise Cain

create trouble or a commotion. informal
The sense of raise in this expression is that of summoning a spirit, especially an evil one; similar sayings include raise the Devil and raise hell . A mid 19th-century expression originating in the USA, the particular form raise Cain is possibly a euphemism to avoid using the words Devil or hell . Cain, according to the biblical book of Genesis, was the first murderer.
See also: Cain, raise

raise ˈCain/ˈhell

(informal) complain or protest noisily and angrily, often as a way of getting something you want: He’ll raise hell if we don’t finish on time. ▶ ˈhell-raiser noun a violent and destructive person Cain was the first murderer in the Bible.
See also: Cain, hell, raise

raise Cain

(...ken)
tv. to make a lot of trouble; to raise hell. Fred was really raising Cain about the whole matter.
See also: Cain, raise
References in periodicals archive ?
The few rid that the followers of the more Islamic, extreme candidates will find some religious justification to raise Cain and rock Cairo
We are going to find out what the rational is, if there is one, and we are going to raise Cain if it smacks of politics.
The usual answer is that fans/voters would raise Cain if a mayor let a team move.
Many people choose our area to live because of its beauty and country flavor, but some turn around and raise Cain because the wildlife or horses or roosters crowing infringe on their own ``tranquillity.
She would replace raise Cain with "lecture," "make mischief," or simply "carry on.
That's because no-one is permitted to tell them lest the claimants feel they are disrespected and raise Cain with their complaints.
If wind power is not available in your area, ask why and raise Cain.