raise Cain

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


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."