raise Cain

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Cain, the biblical son of Adam and Eve, the first murderer. The expression implies bringing or returning that evil to Earth.

Verb[edit]

raise Cain

  1. (idiomatic) To cause trouble.
    If those boys have been out drinking and raising Cain again tonight...
  2. (idiomatic) To behave in a disruptive manner.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island:
      "I seen old Flint in the corner there, behind you; as plain as print, I seen him; and if I get the horrors, I'm a man that has lived rough, and I'll raise Cain."

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Synonyms[edit]