Green’s Dictionary of Slang

carpet n.1

[early use sporting, e.g. cricket and baseball; also in UK/US air forces]

1. [late 19C+] the grass, the ground.

2. [1940s] (US black) the hair.

3. [1980s+] the female pubic hair; used only in combs. relating to cunnilingus (and thus lesbians); see below.

4. (US prison) a tattoo or tattoos.

In compounds

carpet-muncher (n.) (also carpet-biter, carpet-chewer, carpet-licker) [munch v.1 (2)] [1980s+] (orig. US campus)

1. a lesbian.

2. a person who performs cunnilingus.

carpet-munching (n.) (also rug-munching)

[1980s+] cunnilingus.

In phrases

clean the carpet (v.)

[2000s] to perform cunnilingus.

munch the carpet (v.) [munch v.1 (2)]

[1980s+] (US) to perform cunnilingus.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

carpet-biter (n.) [? the myth that Adolf Hitler was prone to such hysterical rages]

1. [1940s+] someone who becomes so enraged that they start chewing the carpet.

2. see also carpet-muncher

carpet bushman (n.)

[1910s] (Aus.) a businessman who owns land in the outback but rarely visits.

carpet dance (n.) [unlike a larger dance, held in a ballroom with a properly sprung floor, the boards are kept covered]

[late 19C–1900s] (UK society) a dance for close friends, held in one’s drawing room.

carpet joint (n.) [joint n. (3b)]

[1930s+] (US) an up-market nightclub.

carpet knight (n.)

see separate entry.

carpet lecture (n.) [on the carpet ]

[1910s] (Aus.) an official reprimand.

carpet mine (v.)

[2000s] (US drugs) for a user to search for crumbs of crack cocaine that may have been dropped onto a carpet.

carpet patrol (n.)

[1980s+] (drugs) smokers of crack cocaine who search the floor for any grains of the drug they may have dropped.

carpet rat (n.) (also carpet monkey)

[1970s+] (US) a small child.

carpet road (n.)

[late 17C–early 18C] a smooth, well-maintained road.

carpet-swab (n.)

[mid-19C] a carpet-bag.

carpet trade (n.) [i.e. ‘the occupations and amusements of the chamber or boudoir’ (OED); such rooms would be carpeted]

[late 16C] sexual dalliance.

carpet walker (n.)

[1930s–70s] (US drugs) a narcotics addict.

In phrases

on the carpet (also on the mat)

1. [mid-19C] in waiting, expected.

2. [mid-19C+] (orig. US) facing a reprimand, scolding or punishment; thus toe the carpet, dance on the carpet, to await and receive such a dressing down (where the image is of a fidgety, nervous person) [the carpet that stands before one’s superior’s desk].

3. attrib. use of sense 1.

put someone on the carpet (v.)

[1900s] to interrogate.