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.

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

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.


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.