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feather (one's) nest
To furnish and beautify one's residence. Now that the apartment is officially mine, I can't wait to start feathering my nest!
feather (one's) own nest
To enrich oneself by using one's influence or position, especially by misappropriating money. The CEO was fired following allegations that he was feathering his own nest with donations made to the company's charitable fund. The senator used her political career to feather her own nest.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
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.
tar and feathersmear 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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
tar and feather
1. To punish (a person) by covering with tar and feathers.
2. To criticize severely and devastatingly; excoriate.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.