kill the fatted calf

Idioms & Phrases

kill the fatted calf

Prepare for a joyful occasion or a warm welcome. For example, When Bill comes home from his trip to Korea we're going to kill the fatted calf. This expression alludes to the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), whose father welcomed him by serving the choicest calf after his return. [Early 1600s]

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