Rude Awakening

Meaning of Idiom ‘Rude Awakening’

A rude awakening is the sudden awareness of something unpleasant after having mistakenly believed that everything was fine. 1Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.


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Usage

The idiom rude awakening is often combined with to be in for, as in “You are in for a rude awakening.”

Examples Of Use

“Finding out that your high school glory doesn’t follow you into the adult world is a rude awakening for some people.”

“It was a rude awakening, after such a long marriage, to suddenly realize the relationship had been doomed for years.”

“If you think you’re going to live here the rest of your life rent-free, you’re in for a rude awakening.”

Rude awakening idiom meaning

Origin

Used since the late 1800s, this idiom alludes to being suddenly forced awake from a slumber, as by a rough shaking or a violent noise or commotion.

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Sources

Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.