kill the fatted calf

kill the fatted calf

Fig. to prepare an elaborate banquet (in someone's honor). (From the biblical story recounting the return of the prodigal son.) When Bob got back from college, his parents killed the fatted calf and threw a great party. Sorry this meal isn't much, John. We didn't have time to kill the fatted calf.
See also: calf, fat, kill

kill the fatted calf

to celebrate in order to welcome a friend or relative that you have not seen for a long time
Usage notes: This phrase comes from a story in the Bible when a father killed a young cow in order to celebrate the return of his son who he thought was dead.
Annie's coming home, let's kill the fatted calf!
See also: calf, fat, kill

kill the fatted calf

Prepare for a joyful occasion or a warm welcome. For example, When Bill comes home from his trip to Korea we're going to kill the fatted calf. This expression alludes to the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), whose father welcomed him by serving the choicest calf after his return. [Early 1600s]
See also: calf, fat, kill

kill the fatted calf

To hold a celebration, usually a long-awaited homecoming. Luke 15:23 describes the return of the prodigal son as, “And bring here the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry . . .” Although the guest of honor in the biblical parable was a wastrel whose father welcomed home, “to kill the fatted calf” can refer to a party for anyone whom the host is pleased to see.
See also: calf, fat, kill
References in classic literature ?
Now, dear boy," said Prince Vasili playfully, "say 'yes,' and I'll write to her myself, and we will kill the fatted calf.
However, those planning to kill the fatted calf for his comeback should remember that cocaine is a class A drug and that Dettori let his family and his sport down by taking it.
Seeing the lad far off, he runs to embrace him, calls the relatives to come over, and plans to kill the fatted calf out back.
But, when this son of yours returns after spending all your money, you kill the fatted calf.
he instructs the servants, let us kill the fatted calf,
Go, multiply the loaves and the fish and kill the fatted calf.
However, dad Ted's ready to kill the fatted calf and welcome his wayward offspring back into the fold, much to Joey's fury.