trick or treat


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trick or treat

Give me a treat of some kind or I will play a trick on you! (The formulaic expression said by children after they ring someone's doorbell and the door is answered on Halloween. It is now understood to mean simply that the child is requesting a treat of some kind—candy, fruit, popcorn, etc.) "Trick or treat!" cried Jimmy when the door opened. Mr. Franklin opened the door to find four very small children dressed like flowers standing silently on his doorstep. After a moment, he said, "Isn't anyone going to say 'Trick or treat'?"
See also: treat, trick

trick or treat

A greeting by children asking for treats on Halloween and threatening to play a trick on those who refuse to give them. For example, The children went from house to house, shouting "Trick or treat!" [c. 1940]
See also: treat, trick

ˌtrick or ˈtreat

said by children who visit people’s houses at Halloween (= October 31) and threaten to play tricks on people who do not give them sweets/candy
See also: treat, trick
References in periodicals archive ?
ALEX'S VERDICT: Is trick or treat harmless fun or a sinister threat?
We are delighted to be able to give the children the opportunity to trick or treat in the safe confines of Cannon Park.
Of course, parents play a role in early economic training when they load the kids in the car and drive them to higher income areas to increase their trick or treat take.
A Trick or Treat Village in Moorpark will feature carnival games, pumpkin painting and caramel apples.
Other Halloween toys include Scooby Doo, Porcelain Trick or Treat Doll and Halloween Barbie Dolls as well as our electronic items like the Halloween Wack n' Waddle, Happy Face, Boo Buddies and Shaking Spider.
Send a chill down a trick or treater's spine with ice-cold Trick or Treat Pops.
PHOTO (color) 'Tis the season for chocolate treats, and Trick or Treat Pops, clockwise, Spider Web Brownies, Chocolate Haystacks and Halloween Fudge will give your Halloween party a sweet and festive twist.
Their Kids to Trick or Treat This Year, Hundreds of Thousands of
com site will go "dark" as an invitation for users to trick or treat online.