call on the carpet
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call (one) on the carpet
To scold, rebuke, or reprimand one. When my team lost that big client, the boss called me on the carpet.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
call someone on the carpetand haul someone on the carpet
Fig. to reprimand a person. (When done by someone of clear superiority. Haul is stronger than call.) One more error like that and the big boss will call you on the carpet. I'm sorry it went wrong. I really hope the regional manager doesn't call me on the carpet again.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
call on the carpet
Summon for a scolding or rebuke, as in Suspecting a leak to the press, the governor called his press secretary on the carpet. This term began as on the carpet, which in the early 1700s referred to a cloth (carpet) covering a conference table and therefore came to mean "under consideration or discussion." In 19th-century America, however, carpet meant "floor covering," and the expression, first recorded in 1902, alluded to being called before or reprimanded by a person rich or powerful enough to have a carpet.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
on the carpet, to be/call/put
To be reproved or interrogated by one’s superior. In the eighteenth century a carpet was also a table cover, and to put something on the carpet meant for it to be on the table—that is, under discussion. However, to walk on the carpet meant, in the early nineteenth century, to be reprimanded, as generally only employers or gentry used carpeted floors, and a servant who did so was being summoned for a reproof. By the late nineteenth century carpets were exclusively floor coverings, but still confined to the rooms of the rich, highborn, or employers. Presumably they sometimes summoned underlings for other purposes than reprimand, but only that meaning survived, as in G. H. Lorimer’s 1902 letter: “The boss of the canning-room [will be] called on the carpet” (Letters of a Self-Made Merchant to His Son).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer