Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is a group or person called who "brings the house down" or "can bring the house down"?

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by Matt E. Эллен, kiamlaluno, Zairja, Mahnax, RegDwigнt Nov 5 '12 at 16:22

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


2 Answers 2

The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition is ‘to evoke such demonstrative applause as threatens or suggests the downfall of the building.’

I have always supposed it to be derived from the music hall, where a particularly good act might, with a little exaggeration, bring about such an event. It may now be found in wider contexts.

share|improve this answer
As for the person, in that meaning, that would be the Star. – SF. Nov 5 '12 at 9:39
In regard to your "wider contexts" remark, I believe this phrase can also refer to a comedian who gives an especially funny performance; i.e.: He brought the house down with laughter. – J.R. Nov 5 '12 at 9:42
@J.R. Yes, that's what I meant. – Barrie England Nov 5 '12 at 10:12

If you mean the company, contractor or person that demolishes your old house or building, then use demolisher or demolition guy(s), demolition contractor, etc.

share|improve this answer
Very unlikely that a question tagged "idiom" was looking for a literal meaning of the phrase – mplungjan Nov 5 '12 at 13:00

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