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chickens come home to roost

Meaning: If chickens are coming home to roost, someone is suffering the unpleasant consequences of their bad actions in the past.

For example:

  • Fred's in hospital with liver problems. I guess the chickens have come home to roost after all those years of heavy drinking.

  • The chickens are coming home to roost for the executives who committed fraud in the nineties. They're being charged now even though they committed their crimes over ten years ago.

Quick Quiz:

The chickens are coming home to roost for Dennis at last. For years he treated his wife and children badly, and now
  1. they're taking care of him
  2. they're still putting up with him
  3. they've left and he's old and lonely

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