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In a small group of people, the leader singled out Person A to pick on her. What's another idiom (that's a verb) to describe this action? There was a two-word idiom which I cannot remember. The idiom is used as thus: "The leader ___'d person A ____.

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Your example makes me think of the phrasal verb, "Call out".

call out

vb (adverb) 1. to utter aloud, esp loudly

  1. (tr) to summon
  2. (Industrial Relations & HR Terms) (tr) to order (workers) to strike
  3. (Industrial Relations & HR Terms) (tr) to summon (an employee) to work at a time outside his normal working hours, usually in an emergency
  4. (tr) to challenge to a duel

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

  • Yes! This was the one I was after. – FreshAir Jun 16 '15 at 0:18
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There are more than a few (mostly of a vernacular nature):

  1. To chew out

    To scold or reprimand someone

  2. To tear a person a new a___hole

    to chastise someone severely

The idioms by themselves do not convey the public nature of the singling out. I personally prefer to use public execution, after the practice of executing criminals in full view of public. I don't think that's a standard use of the phrase, but I use it in that sense

  • Thanks! Both are great suggestions. The second one sounds to me like a somewhat harsh one. – FreshAir Jun 16 '15 at 0:19

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