What Does “Being Driven To Rack and Ruin” Mean and Where Did the Expression Come From?

Being driven to rack and ruin is sometimes expressed as “wreck and ruin,” but either way you’re in big trouble.

Rack was the original reference and first appeared in the fifteenth century as a torture machine which encouraged victims to “rack their brains” to come up with the answers the inquisitors desired, otherwise they would be torn apart.

So whether you’re being driven to rack and ruin or wreck and ruin, unless you come up with the right answers, you’re on your way to total destruction.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment