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an unjust accusation, verdict, or punishment:
He was sent to prison on a bum rap.
an adverse opinion or judgment considered undeserved or unjust:
The review was a bum rap, but I liked the play.
noun (US, slang)
a trumped-up or false charge
an unjust punishment

An erroneous conviction or sentence (1920s+ Underworld)
Any unjustified condemnation: Reagan said, ”Nancy’s taken a bit of a bum rap on that buying White House china” (1980s+)

: he had been bum-rapped
: the Philadelphia Navy Yard has been bum-rapped

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.


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  • Bum-rush

    to force one’s way into; crash: to bum-rush a rap concert. forcible and swift ejection from a place: When they began to cause a disturbance, they were given the bum’s rush. any rude or abrupt dismissal: He gave the pesky salesman the bum’s rush. noun (slang) forcible ejection, as from a gathering rapid dismissal, as […]

  • Bum–someone–out

    a person who avoids work and sponges on others; loafer; idler. a tramp, hobo, or derelict. Informal. an enthusiast of a specific sport or recreational activity, especially one who gives it priority over work, family life, etc.: a ski bum; a tennis bum. Informal. an incompetent person. a drunken orgy; debauch. Informal. to borrow without […]

  • Bum-something-off-someone

    bum something off someone

  • Bum-trip

    bum trip A frightening or depressing drug experience, esp a nightmarish time with LSD (1960s+ Narcotics) Any unpleasant occasion or experience; bummer, downer: The party was a real bad trip (1960s+ Counterculture)

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