English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I partially understand based on the background and context, but I've never seen it used this way before.

Can someone provide the full meaning of carpeted in this context and also tell me if it is a new usage or something old and obscure.

From the news article: Joe Hockey carpets Liberal leaders

OPPOSITION Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey yesterday carpeted Liberal Party leakers for undermining the opposition's bid to secure government.

Mr Hockey condemned talk of leadership divisions stoked last week by a leaked email from chief whip Warren Entsch rebuking former leader Malcolm Turnbull.

"I would say to people they should put their ambitions for the nation ahead of their own ambitions," Mr Hockey said.

share|improve this question
Sad how the Liberal Party should have dissensions. They should be united in such times as now. – Thursagen May 30 '11 at 2:49
@Third Idiot - It's been a long while since the opposition has had such an easy task and they still aren't doing a decent job of it. I still think they should bring Johnny and Costello out of retirement. Over here in Bennelong, they were quick to realise the mistake they made. – xiaohouzi79 May 30 '11 at 3:15
I agree. I reckon Peter Costello is the best at the moment. – Thursagen May 30 '11 at 3:21
up vote 6 down vote accepted

From NOAD:

carpet verb ( -peted , -peting ) [ trans. ] ... 2 Brit., informal reprimand severely.

Presumably this comes from the expression "calling [someone] on the carpet."

call someone on the carpet informal severely reprimand someone below one in authority : she might have called the accused person on the carpet. [ORIGIN: from carpet in the sense [table covering,] referring to ‘the carpet of the council table,’ before which one would be summoned for reprimand.]

share|improve this answer
In some police forces the term "Carpet Cop" is used to describe, in a negative manner, a police officer who has been assigned permanent desk duty (i.e., they are no longer "on the beat"), often as the result of a demotion or a reprimand. If you are not a police officer, you'd be wise to avoid using this term with actual police officers as it could be interpreted as an insult. – Randolf Richardson May 30 '11 at 2:42

My understanding of carpeted is this: you are called forward to stand in the front of the room while you are given a reprimand and probably made to feel very small in front of onlookers, although you could be called to the boss's office and likewise in private be carpeted, where you stand there and are given a telling off. It would be interesting to know how often and in what areas it is used. E.g I am from the Borders where it is sometimes used.

share|improve this answer

protected by Hugo May 29 '12 at 10:13

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.