Idiom – Caught Red-handed

English Idiom – Caught red-handed.

Meaning – To be caught in the act. To be found doing something wrong or illegal. If you are caught red-handed you are caught with the evidence of your wrongdoings for all to see.

According to The Phrase Finder this expression relates to murderers or poachers (a poacher is someone who hunts illegally) being caught with blood on their hands. Blood is  – of course – red.

The idiom paint the town red is used to describe going out to celebrate and have a good time.


When could you use this idiom?

  • Discussing a thief being caught with the stolen goods.
  • Catching somebody in the act of committing a crime.
  • Discussing a cheating partner being caught in the act of being unfaithful.
  • Catching a student obviously cheating in an exam.


  • “The police found him leaving the bank with a big bag of stolen money. He was caught red-handed!”

In The News:

Police appeal to trace burglar caught red-handed by Bath resident


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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FunkyEnglish is a website that helps you improve your English. We offer quick lessons that teach idiomsslangphrasal verbs and more. Visit our homepage to see our latest articles, or use the menu to find specific content!

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