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Bring down the house

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 10, 2006

In Reply to: Bring down the house posted by Victoria S Dennis on March 10, 2006

: : what is the meaning of bring down the house and where was it originated?

: "House" here is used in the theatrical sense "an auditorium full of people". Ever since the 18th century, theatre folk have used "bring down the house" (or "bring the house down") to mean "gain rapturous applause".

Victoria is right, as usual, but why the particularities of the phrase? In what way is the house brought down? Always wondered that. SS