Make Your Editor Cry: Bad Rap vs. Bad Rep
A bad rap—also known as a bum rap—is shame that results from false accusations or trumped-up charges. A bad wrap with a “-w” is a disgusting sandwich made of fillings wrapped in a tortilla shell.
Please—PLEASE—note that neither of these phrases want or need a hyphen.
The rap in bad rap is closely related to the rap in rap sheet, which refers to a list of one’s past criminal offenses. It’s also related to an American English sense of the word dating from the late 18th century—namely, a reprimand or a criticism. Get this. All these meanings of rap likely descend from older uses related to strokes delivered as punishment by a whip or wooden switch.
There’s also bad rep where rep is short for reputation—an abbreviation that literally dates back centuries. The fact that rap sounds a little bit like rep might also have contributed to the modern sense of bad rep. To have a bad rap is to have a bad rep, but bad rep only appears rarely.
Herpetologist Vivian claims rattlesnakes get a bad wrap in movies.
Combine mustard, pickles, and uncooked fish with a tortilla and you have the ingredients for a bad rap.
Herpetologist Vivian claims rattlesnakes get a bad rap in movies.
Combine mustard, pickles, and uncooked fish with a tortilla and you have the ingredients for a bad wrap.
Gregg Bridgeman is the Editor-in-Chief at Olivia Kimbrell Press. He is husband to best-selling Christian author Hallee Bridgeman and parent to three. He continues to proudly serve in the US Armed Forces and has done so in either an active or reserve capacity for more than twenty years as an airborne and air assault qualified paratrooper, earning a Bronze Star for his service. Most importantly, he was ordained in October of 2001 after surrendering his life to Christ decades earlier.