Take a bath

Take a bath is an idiom that has been in use for decades. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom take a bath, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To take a bath means to sustain a large financial loss; to come out on the losing end of a financial investment; to be pushed to bankruptcy. The expression take a bath came into use in gambling circles around the 1920s and is an extension of the idiom, to be cleaned out. If one is cleaned out, one is divested of all one’s money. The phrase take a bath plays on this image of becoming clean. Related phrases are takes a bath, took a bath, has taken a bath, taking a bath. Of course, take a bath is also used in a literal sense to mean to bathe in a bathtub.

Examples

One prop that the books did take a bath on was Rob Gronkowski to score the first touchdown, which paid 16-1 at the Westgate. Bogdanovich said William Hill lost six figures on it when the tight end hauled in an 8-yard TD pass from Brady to give Tampa a 7-3 lead with 37 seconds left in the first quarter. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“I am taking a bath because of his ignorant anti-vax stance and Amalie’s lack of any real safety precautions,” Newhouse said. (Tampa Bay Times)

Is Rodgers willing to take a financial bath to potentially shoot his way out of Green Bay? (Sports Illustrated)