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Painting the town red

Posted by Bruce Kahl on January 20, 2000

In Reply to: Paint Town posted by Frankie on January 20, 2000

: Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "Let's paint the town red". I always understood it to mean to go out (as on a weekend night)to town and have fun, get crazy, wild, bar hop or stay out all night....etc.

My only source for this is a former high school Latin teacher back in 1964 who I remember stating that this phrase originated with the Roman Empire. Roman soldiers used to wash the walls of a newly-conquered town or city with the blood of the vanquished. This was usually accomplished with a great degree of gusto, hence the term being applied to a great night on the town.