I will read you the Riot Act

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New Member
As children when my sister & I were naughty our Nana (Grandmother) would say "stop that or I will read you the Riot Act". Her Grandmother was from Ireland, & went to the North-East of England as a child with her family. Not knowing any dates, I have always assumed that her family left Ireland due to the potatoe famine, & that this was related to the Riot Act that was read to the public. However I have been told that the family had a Scottish surname, could this mean that they were involved in reading the Riot Act, rather than it being read to them?
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    It's usually used in a statement of something that has happened ("she read him the riot act"), rather than a promise of something someone plans to do as in your example.
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