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‘Raking in’ the Profits

Jun 26, 2024

Today we are going to unpack not one, but two useful expressions, and by ‘unpack’, I mean that we will break them down in order to understand their meaning. Listen closely. This first headline comes from CNN News. It reads:

Why oil companies are ‘raking in’ record profits under Joe Biden

Our key expression here is ‘raking in’. They are ‘raking in’ record profits. This is from the verb ‘to rake’, and the noun ‘a rake’.

Okay, to understand this expression, think of a tree full of leaves. During the autumn season, or as some like to say, during the fall, leaves from these trees drop to the ground. How do you pick them up? You use a rake! This tool uses a long metal or wooden pole as a handle which is attached to a head made of plastic or metal that you might compare to a metal comb. So, if someone says they are raking in profits, imagine that they are pulling in piles and piles of dollars, or any other currency, with a rake. In other words, they are making a lot of money! Piles of money. They are ‘raking in the profits’.

The next headline is also taken from CNN News. It reads:

Americans are feeling rosier about their finances.

What does it mean to ‘feel rosy’ about your finances? Well, the word “rosy” is associated with the color rose, which is a shade of red or pink. These colors are often linked with health, vitality, and positive emotions. In other words, according to the headline, Americans are feeling more upbeat and optimistic about their finances. They are feeling rosier.

Here is a related idiomatic expression you can learn:

Expression: “Looking at the World Through Rose-Colored Glasses”

Definition: The expression “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses” means to see things in an overly positive or optimistic way, often ignoring or downplaying the negative aspects. It implies that someone has an unrealistic, overly cheerful perspective on life.

Origin: The phrase originates from the idea that wearing glasses with rose-tinted lenses would make everything appear pink or rosy, thus creating a more pleasant and appealing view of the world.

  1. Metaphorical Use: “Her view of the company’s future is too optimistic; she’s looking at it through rose-colored glasses.”

Okay, let’s wrap up the lesson with a quick review:

The expression “raking in the profits” means to earn a large amount of money, typically in a quick or effortless manner. The imagery comes from the action of using a rake to gather leaves or other items easily and in large quantities.

The phrase “feeling rosier” indicates that someone is becoming more positive and confident. In this case, they are feeling ‘rosier’ about their finances, the stock market, and inflation’s decline.

Finally: “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses”. When you ‘look at the world through rose-colored glasses’, you see things in an overly optimistic way, often ignoring the negative aspects. Again, “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses”.

Do you ‘look at the world through rose-colored glasses’? Or are you more realistic in your analysis?

By the way, if you think you already have a strong vocabulary but your pronunciation is weak, I want to invite you to register for my video course titled ‘Economists in Action’. This course not only reinforces your knowledge of key vocabulary that you can use when discussing economic issues, but it also gives you the chance to fine-tune how you say the words. After all, there is little sense in understanding the word if you don’t say it correctly. That’s on my webpage. It offers you 4 hours of lessons, a flashcard set, and is priced at only $24.99. I won’t be ‘raking in the profits’ at this price, but it does help subsidize this podcast. You can find a link to this course, show notes for this lesson, and all my past podcasts, at While you are there, be sure to register for the podcast club so you never miss a lesson.

Take care, and keep practicing. This is Alan Robert. Goodbye for now.

Foto de Wendell Shinn en Unsplash

Photo  by Wendell Shinn in Unsplash


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