tell off

Idioms & Phrases

tell off

Rebuke severely, reprimand, as in It's time someone told her off about her behavior. There is also a synonymous expression, tell someone where to get off, as in When he called back a third time, I told him where to get off. [Colloquial; early 1900s] Also see get off, def. 7.

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