tar and feather


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tar and feather someone

to punish or humiliate someone by coating them with tar and feathers. The people of the village tarred and feathered the bank robber and chased him out of town. They threatened to tar and feather me if I ever came back into their town.
See also: and, feather, tar

tar and feather

Criticize severely, punish, as in The traditionalists often want to tar and feather those who don't conform. This expression alludes to a former brutal punishment in which a person was smeared with tar and covered with feathers, which then stuck. It was first used as a punishment for theft in the English navy, recorded in the Ordinance of Richard I in 1189, and by the mid-1700s had become mob practice. The figurative usage dates from the mid-1800s.
See also: and, feather, tar

tar and feather

1. To punish (a person) by covering with tar and feathers.
2. To criticize severely and devastatingly; excoriate.
See also: and, feather, tar
References in periodicals archive ?
This woman told the Baltimore Sun, in reports published the next day, that she had participated in the hazing of females and that before the 1989 Army-Navy football game, she had "helped to strip, tar and feather a West Point cadet.
As if that isn't enough, Dees will personally tar and feather the tax man after he's been dunked and slimed.
the victim of a tar and feather attack in south Belfast.
Apparently there's no limit to how low our media will stoop in its obsession to tar and feather the leader of our great nation.
The 26-year-old said he was finally left outside a pub, covered in tar and feathers and left with a sign around his neck which read: "I rob old people's homes for drug money".
What would CV One or the council say if it was painted blue or dressed in tar and feathers by other organisations?