Make Your Editor Cry: Free Reign vs. Free Rein
The correct idiom refers to the reins which control a horse. It’s easy to see why this one looks correct, considering that “reign” is something that kings, queens, and other sovereigns do, but that is not what is intended.
When you give a horse “free rein” you let it go where ever it wants to go. You let it make its own decisions and give it freedom to move as it desires.
The correct phrase is to “free rein.”
I gave him free reign to do what he needs to.
If you gave me free rein, I’d collect every Christmas ornament on earth.
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.