third rail


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third rail

Something that is dangerous to tamper with, as in Anything concerning veterans is a political third rail. This term alludes to the rail that supplies the high voltage powering an electric train, so called since 1918. On the other hand, grab hold of the third rail means "become energized." Both shifts from the original meaning date from the late 1900s.
See also: rail, third
References in periodicals archive ?
Maintaining the illusion of "anything goes" inside a tightly controlled environment is a tricky balancing act, but Third Rail Projects has managed to walk the tightrope while creating fully realized fictional worlds that explore profound questions about life and love.
said at the site of the collision earlier Friday, was how pieces of the third rail had torn off the tracks.
Frederick Brewing, owned by Cleveland-based Snyder International Brewing Group, is shipping about 1,000 cases of Third Rail a month, Rodakis said.
Whether it remains the third rail, however, remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, with the federal budget now roughly in balance, members of Congress seem to have more courage to discuss the so-called third rail in American politics.
Suddently, the juice seems to have gone out of the so-called third rail of American politics.
As National Center for Policy Analysis President John Goodman points out, "The Republicans touched the third rail with [their Medicare reforms].
com customers, the Third Rail System for iPhone 4 provides optional power and a protective case
To Install 750V dc third Rail Electrification on the southern extension of U-Bahn Line U1 from Reumannplatz to Oberlaa.
The company's highly engineered products include pantographs, third rail shoe gears, electrical contacts and brush holders, and its brand names include Brecknell Willis, Stemmann Technik and TransTech.
During the early morning commute, a man fell onto the electrified third rail of the uptown 2 and 3 train tracks at the 42nd Street station.
Thor High Street Advisors' has placed Greenwich Village favorite Third Rail Coffee on the corner of Second and East 10th Avenues.
Fortunately no one was injured in this incident, but there was a real risk of injury to people using the railway or to the offenders themselves as this is a line with third rail electrification.
They found four out of five parents think the overhead power lines and third rail only have electricity running through them when trains are passing through.
It truly deserves its reputation as the third rail of politics, a reference to the third rail that carries the electric current with the obvious meaning that any politician who touches it will die.