When people commit crimes sometimes they get caught! That person may be caught in the act of doing it, and if you are caught in the act then we can say that you were caught red-handed. Another similar expression that is almost never used in a serious way is to be caught with your hand in the cookie jar. We give you lots of examples of being caught doing something and how to use the expressions here.
Expressions included in the learning materials
- Caught red-handed
- Caught with one’s hand in the cookie jar
- Cookie jars
- The smoking gun
- Sherlock Holmes
- Caught in the act
Jessie: So the phrase being caught red-handed is actually an old phrase and was probably first used in Scotland. And it was actually pretty serious because it was about murdering somebody.
Maura: Right, yeah.
Jessie: If you murder somebody you might get blood on your hands. Your hands would be red and if somebody saw you, they would know that you were the murderer.
Maura: Right, if you have the blood on your hands of the person who was killed, then probably you killed that person.
Jessie: Right, but today we can use this in a more light-hearted way too.
Audio/Learning Materials: Culips