Posted by ESC on August 10, 2001
In Reply to: Roll out the red carpet posted by ESC on August 09, 2001
: : Anyone know the meaning/origin of this?
: : Thanks.
: Roll out the red carpet. This is one of those phrases that I think will be easy to find in the reference books. But it wasn't in any of them. So, I'm going to wing it. It's a literal term referring to the practice of rolling out a red carpet for very important people to walk on. Anyone have more details? Maybe it started with kings so their feet wouldn't have to touch the ground like ordinary folk?
RED-CARPET TREATMENT - "A lavish reception; first-class hospitality. The red carpet is laid down at airports and official buildings to accommodate the steps of important personages. As a description of treatment, with or without an actual carpet, it can be found in Sinclair Lewis's Work of Art : 'He's got to be a certified public accountant.or one-night-stand lecturer that blows in and expects to have the red carpet already hauled out for him." From "Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).