bring down the house

Idioms & Phrases

bring down the house

Also, bring the house down. Evoke tumultuous applause and cheers, as in Her solo brought the house down. This hyperbolic term suggests noise loud enough to pose a threat to the buildingan unlikely occurrence. In the late 1800s, British music-hall comedians punned on it: when the audience greeted a joke with silence, they said, "Don't clap so hard; you'll bring down the house (it's a very old house)." [Mid-1700s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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