Green’s Dictionary of Slang

carpet n.1

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

1. the grass, the ground.

Cricket 22 June 93/3: His hits [...] are never high; on the contrary they are mostly, to use the slang of the cricket field, ‘on the carpet’.
[US]H.E. Hamblen General Manager’s Story 88: Ye’ll have them all over the d-d carpet.
[US]N.Y. Press 25 July in Fleming Unforgettable Season (1981) 137: Wagner raced in [...] scooping it up with his bare hand an inch from the carpet.
[US]J.M. Grider War Birds (1927) 258: I was right on the carpet and over a little ruined village.
(con. 1918) Clapp 17th Aero Squadron 51: He was down so near ‘the carpet’ [...] that he stove in the leading edge of his wings on the branches of trees.
[US]J. Archibald ‘Crash on Delivery’ in Flying Aces Nov. [Internet] He dropped out of formation and slid down toward the carpet.
[US]W.A. Heflin US Air Force Dict. 103: Carpet [...] 2. The ground.
[US]D. Jenkins Semi-Tough 67: Getting hit and rolling around on the carpet is easy.

2. (US black) the hair.

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 27 Apr. 7/6: Take your defenders and coast them through her pretty carpet.

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

4. (US prison) a tattoo or tattoos.

[US]J. Stahl Pain Killers 27: Shaved head. Ripped. Full carpet of white power ink.

In compounds

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

1. a lesbian.

[US]‘Jennifer Blowdryer’ Modern English 74: homosexual women (n): Slot Lickers, Carpet Chewers, Muff Divers.
[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 54: carpet-muncher/rug-muncher female homosexual.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 5: Drummond’s had her frizzy blonde hair cut short, which makes her look even mair ay a carpet-muncher.
OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. [Internet] carpet licker, carpet muncher n. a lesbian f. supposed similarity between texture of carpet and a woman’s pubic hair.
L.G. Surgeson ‘15 things not to say to a Lesbian’ on Daisy Realm on University of Wales [Internet] 14. Do you prefer being called a carpet biter or a rug muncher, I can use both.
[UK] ‘The Shallow Grave Awards’ on Spleen! [Internet] Wade is a smirking carpet-biter and Novotna is Drago’s (‘I must break you’) lost brother.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Hollywood Fuck Pad’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 223: Tell you read Ms. magazine. All the liberals and carpet munchers read it.

2. a person who performs cunnilingus; note cit. 1999 is mis-defined as a v. when it should be a n. form.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Dec. 1: carpet muncher – male who performs cunnilingus.
‘Queer Sl. in the Gay 90s’ at [Internet] Carpet Licker – To eat or to go down on the vagina in oral sex.
Wonderland Concepts, Inc. & Matt Gidney ‘Ask Mitch’ 9 Jul. at [Internet] Fact is, in New York, it’s high near impossible to tell a tubesteak tarzan from a carpet muncher. Their personas have completely blurred together in this weird Kenneth Cole/non-comedogenic moisturizer haze.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 2: carpetmuncher – someone, particularly a lesbian, who performs cunnilingus.
carpet-munching (n.) (also rug-munching)


‘The Fistgate Report’ Mass. News May [Internet] The ‘counseling’ included discussions of lesbian sex, oral-vaginal contact, or ‘carpet munching,’ as one student put it.
B. Floyd Comments at [Internet] Cunnilingus [...] carpet munching; cherry flip; chewing bubble gum; chow box; chow down; chowing; chow or chowing box; clam dinner; clean the carpet.
[US] [Internet] Rug Munching 101. A man’s guide to eating bearded clams.

In phrases

clean the carpet (v.)

to perform cunnilingus.

B. Floyd Comments at [Internet] Cunnilingus [...] carpet munching; cherry flip; chewing bubble gum; chow box; chow down; chowing; chow or chowing box; clam dinner; clean the carpet.
munch the carpet (v.) [munch v.1 (2)]

(US) to perform cunnilingus.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Dec. 5: munch someone’s carpet – perform cunnilingus.
[UK]I. Welsh Filth 302: Too much munchin oan carpets wi Drummond, that’s the problem.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

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

1. someone who becomes so enraged that they start chewing the carpet.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 184/1: since ca. 1940.
C.B. Morton ‘The Teenage Diary of Colin B. Morton’ Pt 7 at [Internet] Suddenly there was interracial conflict everywhere. [...] They [i.e. the media] just carried on hacking away at the same old subject until something more newsworthy came along, playing into the hands of fans of the old one-bollocked carpet biter.

2. see also carpet-muncher

carpet bushman (n.)

(Aus.) a businessman who owns land in the outback but rarely visits.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 12 Sept. 18/3: Touching this bike-in-war controversy, it is borne in on me that ‘Machete’ is but a carpet bushman, or George-street backblocker, or something similar. Had he had personal traffic with the remoteness of this vast land, he would have met plenty of men who bestride or push bikes, loaded with swag, billy, water-bag and tucker, over all sorts of country [...] and think nothing of it.
carpet dance (n.) [unlike a larger dance, held in a ballroom with a properly sprung floor, the boards are kept covered]

(UK society) a dance for close friends, held in one’s drawing room.

[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.
carpet joint (n.) [joint n. (3b)]

(US) an up-market nightclub.

[US]J. Scarne Complete Guide to Gambling 239: About 1890 the game appeared [...] in a number of American carpet and sawdust joints.
[US] S. Ross Fortune Machine 7: There are carpet joints on the Strip, sawdust joints downtown [HDAS].
[US]in D.E. Miller Bk of Jargon.
R. Laxalt Governor’s Mansion 96: We take no more than one thousand dollars from each casino — carpet joint or sawdust joint.
(ref. to 1933) M. Gribben Meyer Lansky [Internet] Ch. vi: The Florida ‘carpet joints’ as the illegal casinos were known, breathed life into the depressed South Beach communities of Hollywood, Hallendale and Opalocka.
(con. 1940s) Las Vegas Online Entertainment Guide [Internet] While the El Rancho Vegas and other 1940s resorts followed a western ranch-styled theme, the Flamingo was what Siegel called a ‘carpet joint.’ It was modeled after resort hotels in Miami.
carpet knight (n.)

see separate entry.

carpet lecture (n.) [on the carpet ]

(Aus.) an official reprimand.

[Aus]Aussie (France) VIII Oct. 6/1: ‘Want to get blown up?’ it asked. / I am proficient in the Aussie language, but was at a loss to know exactly whether this question referred to inflation, a carpet lecture, or an explosion.
carpet mine (v.)

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

[US]J. Stahl Happy Mutant Baby Pills 176: I dropped to my knees and started to study the floor [...] Carpet-mining, not to get technical [...] We’d run out of drugs and I was scouring the floor to see if we’d dropped any.
carpet patrol (n.)

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

[US]ONDCP Street Terms 5: Carpet patrol — Crack smokers searching the floor for crack.
carpet rat (n.) (also carpet monkey)

(US) a small child.

[US]L. Dills CB Slanguage 21: Carpet Monkeys: children.
R. Wood Trade [Internet] When I didn’t immediately respond, she tugged my pant leg like a carpet rat.
carpet-swab (n.)

a carpet-bag.

[UK]R. Barham ‘Misadventures at Margate’ in Ingoldsby Legends (1842) 155: A little ‘gallows-looking chap’ [...] With a ‘carpet-swab’ and ‘muckingtogs,’ and a hat turned up with green.
carpet trade (n.) [i.e. ‘the occupations and amusements of the chamber or boudoir’ (OED); such rooms would be carpeted]

sexual dalliance.

[UK]B. Riche Farewell to Military Profession in Early Prose and Poetical Tracts (1853) I 23: This noble duke had no maner of skill in carpet trade.

In phrases

on the carpet (also on the mat)

1. in waiting, expected.

[UK]Bell’s Life in London in Fights for the Championship (1855) 234: So long as the merry month of May [...] has this month been on the carpet.
[UK]Dundee Advertiser 18 July 2/3: At Kidderminster, rioting was, as usual, ‘on the carpet.’ Indeed [...] the mob, ‘as usual,’ smashed the telegraph wires.
[UK]Leicester Chron. 9 Oct. 8/3: There is a marriage ‘on the carpet’ in the Kirk family.

2. (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].

[UK]Leics. Mercury 26 June 3/5: Ten persons left this town for Australia on Tuesday last. One young man who has been brought up ‘on the carpet’, has taken a pickaxe and a spade, which he ‘calculates’ will be service to him.
[UK]Hereford Jrnl 10 Oct. 3/6: To show cause why he should not contribute to its [i.e. a child’s] sustenance he was now had ‘on the carpet’. He thought it best not to deny paternity.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[US]Scribner’s Mag. ‘The Everyday Life of Railroad Men’ IV Jul.–Dec. 546: The mortification of being called into the superintendent’s office to explain some dereliction of duty is disguised by referring to the episode as ‘dancing on the carpet’.
[US]Ade Fables in Sl. (1902) 120: Next Morning she had him up on the Carpet and wanted to know How About It.
[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 39: If he broke faith with me, and I was brought up on the carpet, I should do what a gun of my acquaintance claims is always his practice under such circumstances — ’squeal on the copper’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Dec. 40/2: No! I was never ’ad. I only toed the carpet once, and that come about in this way.
[US]Salt Lake Herald (UT) 19 Feb. 4/6: The National Baseball Commission [...] will call Lucas on the carpet.
[US]H.L. Wilson Somewhere in Red Gap 329: He orders Pete up on the carpet.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 9 Mar. 7/3: To come before the C.O. is termed ‘on the mat’.
[US]R.J. Tasker Grimhaven 92: I had been ‘on the carpet’ for some peccadillo at school.
[UK]V. Davis Gentlemen of the Broad Arrows 222: He’s been on the carpet for being too kind-hearted to the lags.
[US]J. Fishman Names or Numbers 63: The prisoner did not know until called on the carpet the following day that he had even been ‘shot’ (reported).
[US]‘Blackie’ Audett Rap Sheet 93: A guard come to Panzeran’s cell and told him to be sure and make early breakfast next morning because he was going on the carpet. That meant he was going before the warden on some charge or other of violating rules.
[UK]P. Terson Night to Make the Angels Weep (1967) II xvi: He’d have them on the carpet there, see.
[Aus]J. McNeil How Does Your Garden Grow Act III: senior: And sleep in your pyjamas! [...] Or I’ll put you on the mat, Jenkins! sam: Yessir! On the mat, sir.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 219: He’ll have you on the carpet and he’ll chew your ass to a bloody rag.
[UK]Kirk & Madsen After The Ball 285: When Wolf called Malcolm on the carpet, Malcolm blandly denied everything.
[UK]K. Richards Life 62: Next thing I know I’m up before the disciplinary board. On the carpet.

3. attrib. use of sense 1.

[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 39: Mine had been a carpet offence and I was on it in the office of the school President.
put someone on the carpet (v.)

to interrogate.

[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe 46: So we [...] locked ’em all in a room and put ’em on the carpet one by one.