Red carpet

at formal events.


More commonly, "the red carpet treatment" and "rolling out the red carpet", refer to any special efforts made in the interests of hospitality.

The earliest known reference to walking a red carpet in literature is in the play "Agamemnon" by Aeschylus, written in 458 BC. When the title character returns from Troy, he is greeted by his vengeful wife Clytemnestra who offers him a red path to walk upon:

"Now my beloved, step down from your chariot, and let not your foot, my lord, touch the Earth. Servants, let there be spread before the house he never expected to see, where Justice leads him in, a crimson path."

Agamemnon, knowing that only Gods walk on such luxury, responds with trepidation:

"I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendors without fear thrown in my path."

In 1902, The New York Central Railroad used plush crimson carpets to direct people as they boarded their "20th Century Limited" passenger train. This is believed to be the earliest modern use of the "red carpet treatment" as part of ceremony. [cite web|url= |title= How did "red carpet" come to be synonymous with royal treatment? |work= Ask Yahoo |date= 2005-09-16 |accessdate = 2008-03-09]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • red carpet — red carpets N COUNT: usu sing The red carpet is special treatment given to an important or honoured guest, for example the laying of a strip of red carpet for them to walk on. We ll give her some VIP treatment and roll out the red carpet... He is …   English dictionary

  • red carpet — red carpet, adj. 1. a red strip of carpet placed on the ground for high ranking dignitaries to walk on when entering or leaving a building, vehicle, or the like. 2. a display of courtesy or deference, as that shown to persons of high station: The …   Universalium

  • red carpet — If you give someone the red carpet treatment, you give them a special welcome to show that you think they are important. You can roll out the red carpet, too …   The small dictionary of idiomes

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  • red carpet — /rɛd ˈkapət / (say red kahpuht) noun 1. a red strip of carpet laid for important persons to walk on when entering or leaving a building, etc. 2. highly favoured or deferential treatment: to give a visitor the red carpet during their stay …   Australian English dictionary

  • red-carpet — adjective a red carpet welcome special treatment given to a very important visitor when they arrive …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • red carpet — ► NOUN ▪ a long, narrow red carpet for a distinguished visitor to walk along …   English terms dictionary

  • red carpet — I noun a strip of red carpeting laid down for dignitaries to walk on • Hypernyms: ↑rug, ↑carpet, ↑carpeting II adjective special treatment or hospitality the maitre d gave them the red carpet treatment …   Useful english dictionary

  • red-carpet — adjective special treatment or hospitality the maitre d gave them the red carpet treatment • Syn: ↑red carpet • Similar to: ↑uncommon * * * ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ adjective Etymology: so called from the traditional laying down of a red carpet for… …   Useful english dictionary

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