: The common slang term we’re hearing now when we talk to arrested people is that they’re ”on the pipe” That means they’re smoking crack
[1980s+ Narcotics; the same phrase, found by 1926, meant ”smoking opium”]
- On the rack
Under great stress, as in I was on the rack while I waited for the test results. This expression, alluding to a medieval instrument of torture to which the victim was fastened and stretched, has been used figuratively since the late 1500s. Shakespeare had it in The Merchant of Venice (3:2): “Let me choose, for […]
- On the q.t.
Secretly, as in They told her on the Q.T. that she was being promoted. This slangy term, in which Q.T. is an abbreviation for “quiet,” was first recorded in 1884.
- On the rag
adjective phrase [fr rag used as a sanitary napkin]
- On the receiving end
In the situation of recipient, especially of something unpleasant, as in It seems I’m always on the receiving end of his bad moods. [ c. 1930 ]