put the bottom rail on top

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

put the bottom rail on top (third-person singular simple present puts the bottom rail on top, present participle putting the bottom rail on top, simple past and past participle put the bottom rail on top)

  1. (idiomatic) To reverse a hierarchy.
    • 1906–1909, Walter Hines Page, The Southerner, a Novel[1], Doubleday, Page & Company, page 253:
      “The nigger Professor” they called me, “with a plan to educate the blacks and to put them above the whites”; “to put the bottom rail on top”; “to subvert Anglo‐Saxon civilization.”