bum rap

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bum rap (plural bum raps)

  1. (slang) A false accusation, or an injustice, especially one that leads to imprisonment.
    • 1918, "Hun Talk," Chicago Daily Tribune, 7 Oct., p. 17:
      . . . going over the top of the wall of the Trenton prison, where I was sent on a bum rap.
  2. (idiomatic) An undeservedly unfavorable portrayal or reputation.
    • 2008 Sep. 10, Patti Neighmond, "Study: Arthroscopic Surgery Provides Few Benefits," National Public Radio (retrieved 24 Mar 2009):
      Orthopedic surgeon Robert Marx, with New York's Hospital for Special Surgery, says that findings from the current study should not give arthroscopic knee surgery a bum rap.




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