be tarred and feathered

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be tarred and feathered

1. Literally, to be coated with tar and bird feathers as a form of public punishment and shaming (one that is no longer carried out). The thief was tarred and feathered in the public square before being paraded through the town strapped to a wooden cart.
2. By extension, to be severely criticized, reprimanded, or excoriated, especially in a public and humiliating manner. After this economic collapse, everyone is demanding that the heads of the bank be tarred and feathered, but I'd be willing to bet that they'll just get a slap on the wrist.
See also: and, feathered, tar
References in periodicals archive ?
A DISABLED man was tarred and feathered, beaten and tied to a tree half-naked after being snatched at gunpoint.
A DISABLED man who claimed he was tarred and feathered on a Midland street in an apparent vigilante attack today relived his alleged ordeal.
In 1904, an African-American man was tarred and feathered and the Ku Klux Klan held several meetings in the valley.
A DISABLED man who claimed he was tarred and feathered on a Birmingham street in an apparent vigilante attack today relived his alleged ordeal.
AN alleged drug dealer who was tarred and feathered has fled to Scotland with his family to escape loyalist vigilantes.
STREET justice has made an ugly return to Belfast after an alleged drug dealer was tarred and feathered.
Jock Nelson was tarred and feathered after claims he had been dealing drugs