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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

tar and feather

1. Literally, to coat someone with tar and bird feathers as a form of public punishment and shaming (a practice that fell out of use in the early 20th century). The mob tarred and feathered the thief in the public square before parading him through the town strapped to a wooden cart.
2. By extension, to severely criticize, reprimand, or excoriate someone, especially in a public and humiliating manner. Everyone is demanding that the government tar and feather the bank executives behind the scandal, but I'd be willing to bet that all they'll receive is a slap on the wrist.
See also: and, feather, tar

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

smear with tar and then cover with feathers as a punishment.
This practice was introduced in Britain in 1189 , when Richard I decreed that it should be the punishment for members of the navy found guilty of theft. It seems to have been intermittently imposed on other wrongdoers in Britain and has sometimes been inflicted on an unpopular or scandalous individual by a mob.
1981 Anthony Price Soldier No More The Russians…wouldn't have cared less if we'd tarred and feathered Nasser and run him out of Suez on a rail.
See also: and, feather, tar

our feathered ˈfriends

(informal, humorous) birds: We mustn’t forget to put out food for our feathered friends during the cold winter months.
See also: feathered, friend

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 ?
No direct fossil evidence of feathers has been found with the fossils of the oviraptors that followed Similicaudiptery, but Persons says there is still strong evidence they had a feathered tail.
According to the Royal Tyrell Museum, dinosaur fossils are commonly found in sandstone around the world, meaning there may be more discoveries of feathered dinosaurs in the near future.
For those craving a feathered 'do that doesn't get in the way, Fine Featherheads new Fly Ties are a great, fashionable alternative to traditional hairbands allowing you to gently tie your hair (and feathers) back with effortless style.
Both companies will benefit by the combination, with Feathered Nest bringing its substantial number of rental listings to the new enterprise and Halstead bringing its large sales force and listing system, with Manhattan offices on the Upper East Side, Midtown, Upper West Side, SoHo, and Downtown.
The new logo solidifies Feathered Nest's alliance with Brown Harris Stevens, while further positioning Feathered Nest as the industry leader in residential rentals for both the retail market and the on-site market.
Paleontologists (fossil scientists) claim dinosaurs never really went extinct 65 million years ago--they're alive and feathered today .
These findings also shed light on the origin of wings and feathered flight, scientists added.
And a feathered ill fossil flap has arisen about whether Archaeopteryx, long touted as the first known bird, was actually a dinosaur with feathers.
A bird with feathered legs that help it fly may sound strange, but a scientist says that the earliest known bird could have used its legs in just that way.
5--Color) ``Chief Tom Tom'' received his beads and feathered headdress compliments of Corey Gurley, 9, of Glendale.
Another group of researchers said Longisquama's feathers are real, and suggest that birds evolved from reptiles like this rather than from feathered dinosaurs.
This captivating book also delves into paleontologists' latest ideas about how and why feathers evolved millions of years ago, and how recent studies identifying tiny pigment-bearing structures in fossil feathers are helping researchers determine the color scheme of ancient birds and feathered dinosaurs.
When shopping for feathered goods, Morgan suggested, look for garments in which the feathers are detachable.
The fully feathered fossil of Anchiornis huxleyi, for example, is 155 million years old, yet Sawyer's results point to the family of feather beta-keratin just beginning to develop its distinguishing characteristics about 143 million years ago.
Feathered dinosaurs, like modern birds, may have molted as they grew, says Xing Xu of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing.