rub elbows

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rub elbows

  1. (idiomatic, usually followed by with) To associate closely; to socialize, consort, or mingle.
    • 1893, Stanley J Weyman, A Gentleman of France, ch. 2:
      [S]adness and poverty are never more intolerable than when hope and wealth rub elbows with them.
    • 1901, Charles W. Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition, ch. 9:
      It was distasteful enough to rub elbows with an illiterate and vulgar white man of no ancestry.
    • 1922, Zane Grey, The Day of the Beast, ch. 8:
      He just wanted to rub elbows with this throng of young people.
    • 2001 June 24, Jacob V. Lamar, "Look Away, Dixieland," Time:
      Cowboys in ten-gallon hats and snakeskin boots rub elbows with yuppies dressed for success.