been to the rodeo

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been to the rodeo

  1. (idiomatic) Been exposed to conmen and hucksters; experienced.
    • 1950, Melbourne S. Applegate, Helping Boys in Trouble: The Layman in Boy Guidance, page 35:
      Some years ago I was talking to a ten-year-old boy who had been to the Rodeo. He was a lad whom most casual observers would readily have called tough.
    • 2002, Vincent Lardo, Lawrence Sanders, McNally's Chance,
      I'm a man past his prime who's been to the rodeo and back, as they say. I've been an actor, a bartender, a maitre d', and a hustler, without much success at any of them.
    • n.d., Alan Neff, Precious Tribes, Vicious Lies, page 72
      I was one of the few graduating privates promoted from Army class El to E-2. To paraphrase Joan Crawford, I'd been to the rodeo and survived.

Usage notes[edit]

Almost always used in the past participle.