been to the rodeo
- (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.
Almost always used in the past participle.