Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
An unfair situation or poor treatment. Mandy really got a raw deal at that job. They passed her over for so many promotions!
come the raw prawn
slang To act as though one has no knowledge of something. Primarily heard in Australia. I know she's coming the raw prawn with me because her fingerprints were found at the scene of the crime.
get a raw deal
To receive unfair or poor treatment in a particular situation. Mandy really got a raw deal at that job. They passed her over for so many promotions!
hit a (raw) nerve
To evoke a strong emotional reaction, such as anger, sadness, or disgust, upon being encountered, heard, read, etc. Your column must have hit a nerve, because we are getting slammed with feedback from readers—and they're not happy. I could tell he was hitting a raw nerve when he brought up Jane's former employer and Jane went silent for a moment.
life in the raw
Life in its natural, unembellished state. Most tourists opt to stay in cushy hotels and eat at nice restaurants, missing out on the chance to experience a city's life in the raw.
touch a (raw) nerve
To evoke a strong emotional reaction, such as anger, sadness, or disgust, upon being encountered, heard, read, etc. Your column must have touched a nerve, because we are getting slammed with feedback from readers—and they're not happy. I could tell he was touching a raw nerve when he brought up Jane's former employer and Jane went silent for a moment.
in the raw
1. Completely naked. I have a recurring nightmare where I'm walking through school in the raw. As kids, we had no problem going swimming together in the raw.
2. At the most basic, crude, or natural state. No matter how friendly a corporation tries to appear, in the raw, they are only ever concerned with making a profit. The world of animals in nature is fascinating and often beautiful, but in the raw, it is a heartless story of death and survival.
in the altogether
Naked. I keep having the dream where I walk into my high school in the altogether!
catch (one) on the raw
To do or say something (such as mentioning a sensitive topic) that causes one to feel angry, agitated, or self-conscious; to touch a nerve. Primarily heard in UK. I accidentally caught Vanessa on the raw by mentioning her new haircut—apparently, she's really unhappy with it. Your column must have caught the MP on the raw, because we've been served with a defamation lawsuit from his office. I could tell she was touching Jack on the raw when she brought up his former employer.
touch (one) on the raw
To do or say something (such as mentioning a sensitive topic) that causes one to feel angry, agitated, or self-conscious; to touch a nerve. Primarily heard in UK. I accidentally touched Vanessa on the raw by mentioning her new haircut—apparently, she's really unhappy with it. Your column must have touched the mayor on the raw, because we've been served with a defamation lawsuit from his office. I could tell she was touching Jack on the raw when she brought up his former employer.
A man or woman who is inexperienced and newly recruited to some organization. The number of raw recruits for the police force has plummeted for the third year in a row. We're touring around various high schools across the state looking for raw recruits to join the military after they graduate. My job is to turn raw recruits into fully fledged soldiers.
*in the altogetherand *in the buff; *in the nude; *in the raw
Fig. naked; nude. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~; sleep ~.) The museum has a painting of some ladies in the buff. Mary felt a little shy about getting into the altogether. Bill says he sleeps in the raw.
an instance of unfair or bad treatment. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) Mary got a raw deal on her traffic ticket. She was innocent, but she had to pay a big fine. I bought a used TV that worked for two days and then quit. I sure got a raw deal. You sure had a raw deal.
a new, inexperienced, or fresh recruit, such as someone just entering the army, navy, police, etc. These boys are nothing but raw recruits. They've never seen a gun up close!
in the altogether
Also, in or stripped to the buff ; in the raw. Naked, nude, as in The art class wanted a model to pose in the altogether, or She was stripped to the buff when the doorbell rang, or He always sleeps in the raw. The first of these colloquial terms dates from the late 1800s. In the buff, a seemingly modern locution dates from the 1600s, buff alluding to a soft, undyed leather, buffskin, that also gave its name to the color. The use of raw, presumably also alluding to raw (undressed) leather, dates from the early 1900s.
An instance of unfair or harsh treatment, as in After 25 years with the bank Bob got a raw deal-no pension, no retirement benefits of any kind, just a gold watch. Raw here means "crude" or "unfair." [First half of 1900s]
get a raw deal
COMMON If you get a raw deal, you have been treated unfairly or badly. We must ask why bank customers get such a raw deal. Note: Verbs such as have and receive can be used instead of get. Until quite recently, large ladies had a raw deal. We designed old-fashioned clothes for them. It is not only teaching staff who receive a raw deal in terms of pay and conditions. Note: You can also say that you give someone a raw deal. I have seen numerous cases where the foreign-born minority were given a raw deal and were treated as second-class or third-class citizens. Note: This may refer to someone being dealt a bad hand in a game of cards.
touch a nerveor
touch a raw nerve
COMMON If something that you say touches a nerve or touches a raw nerve, it upsets someone, because you have mentioned a subject that they feel strongly about or are very sensitive about. I realised I had touched a nerve with my remarks. Buchanan's speech touched a raw nerve here at the Capitol. Note: You can also use other verbs such as strike or hit instead of touch. She seemed to strike a nerve when she asked Dr. Lowe about his past life. His remarks clearly hit a raw nerve with congressional Democrats.
come the raw prawnmainly AUSTRALIAN, INFORMAL
If someone comes the raw prawn, they try to trick you, especially by pretending not to know about something. Don't come the raw prawn with me, sport, or I'll knock your head off.
in the altogetherwithout any clothes on; naked. informal
1991 Today The mothers…have agreed to pose in the altogether.
a raw (or rough) deala situation in which someone receives unfair or harsh treatment. informal
touch (or hit) a (raw) nerveprovoke a reaction by referring to a sensitive topic.
come the raw prawnattempt to deceive someone. Australian informal
In Australian English, a stupid person can be referred to as a prawn .
1959 Eric Lambert Glory Thrown In Don't ever come the raw prawn with Doc, mate. He knows all the lurks.
in the raw1 in its true state; not made to seem better or more palatable than it actually is. 2 (of a person) naked. informal
touch someone on the rawupset someone by referring to a subject about which they are extremely sensitive.
a raw/rough ˈdealunfair treatment: Many old people feel they are getting a raw deal from the state: they pay money towards a pension all their working life but discover it isn’t worth much when they retire.
catch/touch somebody on the ˈraw(British English) upset somebody by reminding them of something they are particularly sensitive about: She touched him on the raw by criticizing his driving.
in the ˈrawin a way that does not hide the unpleasant aspects of something: If you want to see life in the raw, get a job as a police officer.
1. mod. inexperienced; brand new. The raw recruit did as well as could be expected.
2. mod. vulgar; crude; raucous; untamed. I’ve had enough of your raw humor.
3. mod. [of alcoholic spirits] undiluted; neat. I’ll drink it raw—just the way it is now.
4. mod. [of alcoholic spirits] unaged; fiery and strong. My gosh, this stuff is raw! It’ll burn a hole in me.
a raw deal
n. an unfair deal; unfair treatment. My last job was a raw deal. I hope this is better.
in the raw
1. In a crude or unrefined state: nature in the raw.
2. Nude; naked.
An instance of unfair treatment: got a raw deal from our insurance company.
raw deal, a
Harsh or unfair treatment. The raw in this expression, which originated in America, means “crude.” In 1912 a Canadian dictionary defined the term as “a swindle,” a meaning not much invoked today. E. C. Bentley used the expression in Those Days (1940): “If it was what is known nowadays as a raw deal, they did not mind.”