rap

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a bum rap

An unfair accusation, punishment, or reputation. Tommy was sent to jail on a bum rap because of his prior criminal history, but we know he didn't rob that bank—he was with us the day it happened! He didn't get elected because he got such a bum rap from the mainstream media during his campaign.
See also: bum, rap

rap across the knuckles

A quick, minor punishment that serves as a warning. The public was outraged that the company only received a rap across the knuckles from the EPA after being caught illegally dumping chemicals in the river.
See also: across, knuckle, rap

rap on the knuckles

A quick, minor punishment intended to serve as a warning. The public was outraged that the company only received a rap on the knuckles from the regulatory agency after being caught illegally dumping chemicals in the river.
See also: knuckle, on, rap

rap over the knuckles

A quick, minor punishment intended to serve as a warning. The public was outraged that the company only received a rap over the knuckles from the regulatory agency after being caught illegally dumping chemicals in the river.
See also: knuckle, over, rap

rap sheet

A list of a person's criminal history. The suspect had a rap sheet a mile long due to his numerous run-ins with the police.
See also: rap, sheet

beat the rap

slang To escape punishment or blame for a crime or misdeed. Primarily heard in US. With the right lawyer, you can definitely beat the rap and avoid any jail time. Celebrities always seem to be able to beat the rap after they get arrested. Don't think you're beating the rap this time, young man. You're grounded for a month.
See also: beat, rap

not give a rap about (someone or something)

To not care about, or have any interest in, someone or something. Kathrine does not give a rap about politics, so she has never bothered voting in any election.
See also: give, not, rap

not give a damn

rude slang To not care in the slightest (about something or someone); to attach no importance to someone or something. I don't give a damn about making money, I just want to do something with my life that makes life better for others. I haven't given a damn for the show ever since they killed off my favorite character. Do whatever you want, I don't give a damn.
See also: damn, give, not

beat the rap

Sl. to evade conviction and punishment (for a crime). He was charged with drunk driving, but he beat the rap. The police hauled Tom in and charged him with a crime. His lawyer helped him beat the rap.
See also: beat, rap

get one's knuckles rapped

 
1. Lit. to get one's knuckles struck with a ruler as a punishment. I got my knuckles rapped for whispering too much. You will have your knuckles rapped if you are not careful.
2. Fig. to receive a minor punishment. The lawyer got his knuckles rapped for talking back to the judge. Better watch your tongue if you don't want to get your knuckles rapped.
See also: get, knuckle, rap

rap at something

 and rap on something
to tap on something to attract someone's attention. Who is that rapping at my door? Someone is rapping at the window, trying to get my attention. I will rap on her window and try to wake her.
See also: rap

rap someone across the knuckles

 and rap someone on the knuckles; rap someone's knuckles
to strike someone on the knuckles. As punishment, she rapped him across the knuckles. The teacher rapped the student on the knuckles.
See also: across, knuckle, rap

rap something out (on something)

to tap out the rhythm of something on something. Try to rap the rhythm out on the table. He rapped out the rhythm on the table.
See also: out, rap

rap with someone

Sl. to have a chat with someone or a group of people. (Old.) Come in, sit down, and rap with me for a while. Let's get together and rap with one another sometime.
See also: rap

take the rap

(for someone) Inf. to take the blame [for doing something] for someone else. I don't want to take the rap for you. John robbed the bank, but Tom took the rap for him.
See also: rap, take

take the rap (for something)

Inf. to take the blame for (doing) something. I won't take the rap for the crime. I wasn't even in town. Who'll take the rap for it? Who did it?
See also: rap, take

beat the rap

Escape punishment; win acquittal. For example, The youngsters were caught shoplifting, but somehow they were able to beat the rap. The rap in this idiom means "the legal charge against one." [Slang; 1920s]
See also: beat, rap

bum rap

A false accusation or conviction; also, unfair criticism or action. For example, He claimed he was in prison on a bum rap, or The theater critics gave her last play a bum rap. This expression originated in the 1920s as underworld slang, and by the mid-1900s it was also used figuratively for other kinds of injustice.
See also: bum, rap

not give a damn

Also, not give a fig or hang or hoot or rap or shit . Not care about, be indifferent to, as in I don't give a damn about him, or She doesn't give a fig if he comes or not. The nouns in all these terms signify something totally worthless. Although probably in oral use for much longer, damn is first recorded in this negative form in the late 1700s and the worthless item it is used to denigrate is a curse. Fig has denoted something small and worthless since about 1400, and hang since the mid-1800s; hoot has been used for the smallest particle since the later 1800s; rap, also for the smallest particle, since the first half of the 1800s, and shit, for excrement, since about 1920. All but the first of these terms are colloquial and the last (using shit) is vulgar.
See also: damn, give, not

rap someone's knuckles

Reprimand, as in If I'd seen John take that last piece of cake, I'd have rapped his knuckles. This term transfers a physical punishment to a verbal one. [Late 1600s]
See also: knuckle, rap

take the rap

Be punished or blamed for something, as in I don't want to take the rap for Mary, who forgot to mail the check in time, or Steve is such a nice guy that he's always taking the rap for his colleagues. This slangy idiom originally used rap in the sense of "a criminal charge," a usage still current. By the mid-1900s it was also used more broadly.
See also: rap, take

rap someone on the knuckles

or

rap someone's knuckles

COMMON If someone in authority raps you on the knuckles or raps your knuckles, they criticize you for doing something they consider to be wrong. I was rapped on the knuckles for interfering in things that were not my concern. Note: People often use over instead of on. The report raps teachers over the knuckles for not appearing to have any influence over children at all. Note: You can also say that you have your knuckles rapped, or that you get a rap on the knuckles. The station has had its knuckles rapped for the third time by the Radio Authority. The club yesterday received a rap on the knuckles from the Football Association. Note: In the past, teachers sometimes punished pupils who behaved badly by hitting them on the knuckles with a ruler or stick.
See also: knuckle, on, rap

beat the rap

AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If someone beats the rap, they escape blame or punishment for a crime. He beat the rap by pleading mental illness. Jon was convinced that the tapes would help him beat the rap for killing a United States senator.
See also: beat, rap

take the rap

INFORMAL
If someone takes the rap, they are blamed for something bad that has happened, usually something that is not their fault. When the client is murdered, his wife takes the rap, but did she really do it? Note: `Rap' is slang for a criminal charge.
See also: rap, take

not give a damn (or hoot)

not care at all. informal
1998 Penelope Lively Spiderweb The boys knew that the teachers didn't like them and they didn't give a damn.
See also: damn, give, not

beat the rap

escape punishment for or be acquitted of a crime. North American informal
See also: beat, rap

rap someone on (or over) the knuckles

rebuke or criticize someone.
See also: knuckle, on, rap

take the rap

be punished or blamed, especially for something that is not your fault or for which others are equally responsible.
The late 18th-century use of rap to mean ‘criticism’ or ‘rebuke’ was extended in early 20th-century American English to include ‘a criminal charge’ and ‘a prison sentence’. Compare with take the fall (at fall)
See also: rap, take

beat the ˈrap

(American English, slang) escape without being punished: This time he didn’t beat the rap, and got three years in jail for robbery.
See also: beat, rap

ˌrap somebody over the ˈknuckles

,

give somebody, get, etc. a ˌrap over the ˈknuckles

(informal) criticize somebody/be criticized for doing something wrong: He got a rap over the knuckles for spending too much money on his business lunches.
See also: knuckle, over, rap, somebody

take the ˈrap (for somebody/something)

(informal) be blamed or punished, especially for something you did not do: She was prepared to take the rap for the broken window, even though it was her brother who had kicked the ball.
See also: rap, take

bad rap

1. n. a false criminal charge. (Underworld. The same as bum rap.) Freddy got stuck with a bad rap.
2. n. unjustified criticism. Butter has been getting sort of a bad rap lately.
See also: bad, rap

beat the rap

tv. to evade conviction and punishment (for a crime). The police hauled Tom in and charged him with a crime. His lawyer helped him beat the rap.
See also: beat, rap

bum rap

1. n. a false criminal charge. (Underworld. The same as bad rap.) This is a bum rap, and you know it.
2. and bum-rap tv. to talk ill about someone; to accuse someone of something falsely. You’re always bum-rapping your car!
See also: bum, rap

bum-rap

verb

rap

1. in. to talk or chat about something. Something wrong? Let’s rap about it.
2. n. a conversation; a chat. Let’s have a rap sometime.
3. n. sweet talk; seductive talk; line. Don’t lay that rap on me! You’re not my type.
4. n. a criminal charge; the blame for something. (Underworld.) The cops tried to make the rap stick, but they didn’t have enough evidence.

rap session

n. an informal conversation session. The kids settled down for a long rap session.
See also: rap, session

(rap) sheet

n. a criminal record listing all recorded criminal charges. (see also rap.) The sergeant asked if there was a sheet on the prisoner.
See also: rap, sheet

take the rap (for something)

tv. to take the blame for something. (see also rap.) I didn’t want to take the rap for the job, but, after all, I was guilty.
See also: rap, something, take

take the rap

verb
See also: rap, take

beat the rap

Slang
To escape punishment or be acquitted of a charge.
See also: beat, rap

take the rap

Slang
To accept punishment or take the blame for an offense or error.
See also: rap, take
References in classic literature ?
Once more, with a quick blow, he rapped Eric beside the head, and ere he could regain himself, Little John slipped his right hand down to his left and, with a swinging blow, smote the other so sorely upon the crown that down he fell as though he would never move again.
This, too, was life, Bashti meditated, as he deftly rapped the screaming puppy away from him.
They were scarcely started a fifth of the way of the distance, when the waiting broomstick rapped on his nose and made him sink it in the floor under his chest and cover it again with his paws.
Being at last, however, rather disturbed in his pleasant reflection by their repetition, he rapped at one of the doors with his stick, and cried:
King Lud flew into a frightful rage, tossed his crown up to the ceiling, and caught it again--for in those days kings kept their crowns on their heads, and not in the Tower--stamped the ground, rapped his forehead, wondered why his own flesh and blood rebelled against him, and, finally, calling in his guards, ordered the prince away to instant Confinement in a lofty turret; a course of treatment which the kings of old very generally pursued towards their sons, when their matrimonial inclinations did not happen to point to the same quarter as their own.
Take for example his song 'Chai Over Money' that he rapped during an interview with Khaleej Times.
OLD SCHOOL IN SESSION: LL Cool J wore his Kangol hat, Big Daddy Kane broke out the old-school rhymes and dance moves, and Salt 'N Pepa rapped and sashayed like back in the day as VH1 celebrated rap's pioneers at the second annual ``Hip-Hop Honors.
In that song, Malcolm McLaren's anarchist urchins rapped out his agitprop appeal to copy music onto tape and give it away.
He also rapped for Madonna at this year's Grammy Awards.