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Cut a rug

Posted by Baceseras on June 04, 2011 at 14:27

In Reply to: Cut a rug posted by ESC on June 02, 2011 at 00:42:

: : I was wondering if anyone knew the origin of the phrase "cut a rug" meaning to dance or to dance well. For example, "John can really cut a rug."

: All I could find was that the phrase dates back to the 1920s. In old movies, the "kids" would roll up the rug or carpet before dancing at someone's house. Maybe vigorous dancing would tear or cut a rug.

[I think the reason for rolling back the rug was that it would have impeded the slide, glide, or drag-steps essential to most social dances. Perhaps the idea of "cutting a rug" was that a remarkable dancer could move effortlessly even on an unperfect floor. (For the same reason, smooth-soled shoes were, and still are, sold for dancing. Of a clumsy dancer it used to be said that he was wearing hob-nailed boots.) - Baceseras.]