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"on a tear"

Posted by Shae on July 07, 2004

In Reply to: "On a tear" posted by Bruce Kahl on July 07, 2004

: : : : I have been coming across the phrase "on a tear" a lot lately here in the US. I checked the OED and found the meanings "a spree (US slang)" and "a violent rage, passion" for the word tear, which seem to fit the general sense of the phrase. Has anyone else noticed this phrase cropping up a lot recently, or has it been around forever and I've just never caught it before? I don't see it listed on any of the cliche/idiom sites I've visited.

: : : I always thought it was "On a terror"

: : I am familiar with "on a tear." Done it a few times myself.

: Here in the NE part of the USA being on a tear has been around and used quite a bit.

: I was on a tear from about the time Sgt. Pepper was released till 7-23-92. 12 years not being on a tear.
: You are all invited to a church basement for a piece of cake.

Here in Ireland 'on the tear' means on a drinking binge.