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  1. #1
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    Default paint the town red

    Is there anybody who knows the history behind this idiom?

  2. #2
    Susie Smith Guest

    Default Re: paint the town red

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Is there anybody who knows the history behind this idiom?
    It means to go on a wild spree.

    According to The Phrase Finder, it is an allusion to the kind of riotous behaviour that results in much red blood being spilt.

    :wink:

  3. #3
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    I also found out one explanation, but I think it implies certain sexism. :(

    http://www.sportsonly.com/a/6488/bin/3060.html

  4. #4
    Susie Smith Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    I also found out one explanation, but I think it implies certain sexism. :(

    http://www.sportsonly.com/a/6488/bin/3060.html
    I found this at www.theanswerbank.co.uk/ Answered/Question14571-12.asp?Page=1

    The phrase first appeared in print in the 'Boston Journal' in 1884, meaning any form of excitement or situations where people were very loud and clearly enjoying themselves. I suppose it was based on the fact that red is generally seen as a cheerful - even fiery - colour. Painting the town thus, metaphorically speaking, made it a brighter, 'louder' place.

    Obviously none of us are old enough to remember what it originally meant.

  5. #5
    Susie Smith Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    I also found out one explanation, but I think it implies certain sexism. :(

    http://www.sportsonly.com/a/6488/bin/3060.html
    Here's another one:
    Paint the town red - go on a spree
    Several attempts have been made to explain this. The most persuasive locates its origin in an actual piece of drunken vandalism by the Marquis of Waterford and a bunch of his chums who, as an aristocratic joke, actually painted parts of the local town red in the area of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, in 1837. The incident created sufficient stir to be recorded in contemporary verse and engraving.

    http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/gswithenbank/sayingsp.htm

    If I had time, I could probably find a few others. Learning how an idiom started is interesting but better yet is to know what it means today and how to use it. :wink:

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Coming from Leicestershire, I like to think that our drunken vandals have added to the language.

  7. #7
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    Have a good time! Celebrate!

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