up the river

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A reference to Sing Sing prison on the Hudson River.

Prepositional phrase[edit]

up the river

  1. (US, idiomatic) To prison.
    • 1990, "Pete Rose: He doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame," Dallas Morning News 21 July (retrieved 23 Sep. 2010):
      The former baseball player that Cincinnati idolized is being sent up the river to Ashland, Ky., to serve a prison term for cheating on his taxes.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often preceded by the verb to send.

See also[edit]