bad news

Idioms & Phrases

bad news

  1. An unwelcome thing or person, trouble. For example, That fire was bad news; we were underinsured for the damage, or No one wants Mary on the boardshe's bad news. This term transfers literal bad newsthe report of an unhappy recent eventto an unwanted or undesirable individual or circumstance. [Slang; 1920s]

  2. The amount charged for something, as in Waiter, bring our checkI want to see the bad news. [Slang; 1920s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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