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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

To Ream Someone Out

Context 1: 
            Natalia: Victor! Mind if I eat lunch with you?
            Victor: Sure, if you want
            Natalia: What's wrong? Why do you seem so upset?
            Victor: I just got reamed out by my boss in front of everyone.
            Natalia: Oh no! What happened?
            Victor: I was working on this report for him, and I thought it was due Monday. But it turns out, he wanted it today for his lunch meeting.
            Natalia: Uh oh.
            Victor: Yeah. He yelled at me in front of my desk, then slammed the door of his office.  Then he stormed over to the meeting room and didn't say anything when he walked by. So now I'm not even sure I still have a job after lunch.
            Natalia: I'm sure you'll be fine. I'm sure he will calm down and realize it was just a misunderstanding. Still, sorry he reamed you out, especially with everyone around.

Meaning: The expression "to ream (someone) out" means to very strongly and angrily criticize someone. Here, Victor says that he just got "reamed out" by his boss, which means that his boss probably yelled at him in a critical way. Below that, Natalia apologizes that Victor's boss "reamed him out." Notice that in the first example, since the idiom is happening to the subject, there is no "someone" in the idiom ("I just got reamed out"), but in the second example, since the idiom is happening to the object, there is a pronoun in the idiom ("sorry he reamed you out").

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