Read the Riot Act

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Scold in a severe manner, or to give a warning to someone

Etymology:

  • British Parliament passed the Riot Act in 1714 that illustrated that if twelve or more people get gathered in a riotous and illegal manner, then a magistrate can break them up by just reading the first few words of the riot act. They’ve to leave within an hour and if they didn’t do so then they’d be liable to severe punishment as they’d be involved in breaking the law of the country. Reading the riot act is now considered to be an expression to warn someone in the strongest manner.
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Boss started to read the riot act when he was told about the total loss of the company.

Submitted on February 25, 2019

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"Read the Riot Act." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 14 Dec. 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/read-the-riot-act_44980>.

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