thin as a rail

Idioms & Phrases

thin as a rail

Very slender, as in I do not know why she's dieting; she's thin as a rail already. This simile, which uses rail in the sense of "a narrow bar," has largely replaced such other versions as thin as a lath or rake, although the latter is still common in Britain. [Second half of 1800s]

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