Idiom: Paint the town redOED Definition: informal Go out and enjoy yourself flamboyantlyExample: It’s laura’s birthday this weekend, we’re going to paint the town red!
Blog in English Method To My Madness
These are several different opinions about where this idiom comes from, depending on which side of The Pond you are on. In Britain, the phrase is believed to originate in the small town of Melton Mowbray (famous for its delicious pork pies) in 1837. One night, the Marquis of Waterford, who was well known for heavy drinking and trouble making, drunkenly led a group of friends through the English town breaking windows and doors, and generally having a marvellous time. To top it off, the group ended up literally painting several buildings and homes with red paint. So, the expression ‘paint the town red’ has become synonymous with a fun-filled night out.
However, our fiends of the other side of the Atlantic have a different opinion, believing that the phrase comes from the brothels in the American West, as men often behaved as if the entire town was the red-light district.