rathole

(redirected from ratholes)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

rathole

1. Some dwelling, accommodation, or other residence that is particularly squalid or decrepit. The first thing I do when I get a better paying job is to get out of this rathole as soon as possible. They stuck me in some crummy little rathole built inside of a warehouse in an industrial park outside of town until the heat from the police died down.
2. Something into which seemingly endless amounts of resources, usually money, can be wasted. Everyone keeps clamoring for a revamped public transit system, but the local government has already thrown nearly half a billion dollars down that rathole with hardly anything to show for it. I just don't see the point in pouring any more time and money into that rathole. Let's just sell it for scrap and cut our losses.
3. A topic, issue, or process that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds. An uncommon variant of "rabbit hole." Owning your own business is a huge responsibility that not everyone is prepared for. Are you sure you're ready to go down that rathole? Overhauling the current tax legislation is a rathole I don't think this administration should go down at this point.

rathole

1. n. a run-down place; a dump or a joint. I refuse to live in this rathole any longer.
2. n. a bottomless pit. (Typically with throw and down as in the examples.) Why do they keep throwing money down that rathole?
References in periodicals archive ?
When the beautiful dome of theory is broken, most people retreat into ratholes of nostalgia, anxiously repeating some version of a myth about themselves--in this case, it's endless pronouncements about "the genius of the Slavs." Here Kushner recalls Bernard Shaw's observation that "a healthy nation is as unconscious of its nationality as a healthy man of his bones." Vehement bouts of self-mythologizing seek the balance of equally vigorous hunts for scapegoats, be they artists under Stalinism, Communists under McCarthyism, gays under Reaganism, Jews and "the dark-skinned people of the Caucasus" under Zhirinovsky or poor people under the 104th Congress.
The workroom was full of rat stories, some funny, some horrible, as I sat through that day frenetically clipping out ratholes.