bang to rights

Definitions

Slang

  • adjective caught red-handed, without hope of escape. This 19th-century expression (paralleled in American English by dead to rights) is usually heard in the form ‘caught bang to rights’ or ‘we’ve got him/her bang to rights’ (i.e. helpless, indefensible). Until the 1970s the term was part of the restricted codes of the police and underworld; since then the phrase has been given wider currency, particularly by the realist plays of G. F. Newman.
  • adverb caught red-handed, without hope of escape. This 19th-century expression (paralleled in American English by dead to rights) is usually heard in the form ‘caught bang to rights’ or ‘we’ve got him/her bang to rights’ (i.e. helpless, indefensible). Until the 1970s the term was part of the restricted codes of the police and underworld; since then the phrase has been given wider currency, particularly by the realist plays of G. F. Newman.
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