What does it mean to be caught

in red-handed

The expression in red-handed means "in the act", "in the act".

The Latinin (crimineflagranti means something like "during the hot (crime)" (cf. flagrantia = the embers). A crime is of course hot if it is currently taking place or has just taken place. So do you catch someone in red-handed, that's how you specifically catch him committing an offense.

She caught her husband with the kitchen help in red-handed in the garden shed.

The bankers showed this talent soon after the First World War, when they offered their French neighbors to invest their money bypassing the tax authorities in Switzerland. The French police even succeeded in 1932, the bosses of the Basler Handelsbank in red-handed to be caught when they were accepting money in Paris. Three years later, Switzerland therefore legally stipulated that an official offense was committed by anyone disclosing customer data. This was the hour of birth of Swiss banking secrecy.
- Dirk Böttcher and Lukas Kistler, Schwyzerdütsch - German, brand eins 10/2009.

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