put on the ritz: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘put on the ritz’ mean?

The idiom "put on the ritz" means to dress up formally or to behave in a fancy or extravagant manner. It originated from the luxury hotel "The Ritz," known for its opulence and high-class clientele.

Idiom Explorer

Glittering Etymology

The idiom "put on the ritz" is a commonly used phrase in the English language. It originated in the 1920s and has since become a well-known expression. The phrase is often used to describe someone who is dressing up or exhibiting great style and sophistication.

During the Roaring Twenties, also known as the Jazz Age, there was a celebration of extravagance and excess. It was a time of economic prosperity, and people wanted to showcase their wealth and sophistication. Dressing up in fashionable attire and attending glamorous events became a common way to demonstrate social status.

The idiom "put on the ritz" perfectly captured the essence of this era. It referred to a deliberate effort to display elegance and luxury. When someone put on the ritz, they were making a statement about their style and sophistication.

The phrase became popular during this time and has since retained its original meaning. It is often used figuratively to describe someone who is trying to impress others or present themselves in a more glamorous and sophisticated manner.

The elite upper class showed off their extravagant luxury.

One related idiom is "put on the dog." This phrase has a similar meaning to "put on the ritz" and is often used interchangeably. When someone puts on the dog, they are dressing up in an extravagant and stylish manner to impress others. Just like putting on the ritz, putting on the dog is a way of showcasing one's elegance and sophistication.

Another related idiom is "dressed to the nines." This phrase is used to describe someone who is dressed in their best or most fashionable attire. It conveys a sense of impeccable style and attention to detail. When someone is dressed to the nines, they are putting forth their best image and making a statement about their taste and refinement.

These related idioms have their own unique origins and usage, but they share a common theme with "put on the ritz." They all revolve around the idea of dressing up and presenting oneself in a stylish and sophisticated manner.

While the idiom "put on the ritz" has its origins in the Ritz Hotel in London, it has transcended its initial association and has become a symbol of grandeur and elegance in its own right. The phrase continues to be used in modern language and has become deeply entrenched in popular culture.

The beauty of idioms lies in their ability to evoke different images and thoughts in different individuals. The idiom "put on the ritz" and its related idioms allow for ongoing exploration and analysis. Each person may have their own interpretation and understanding of these phrases, adding to their richness and versatility.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom "put on the ritz" can be used in a sentence:

  1. She decided to put on the ritz and wear her most glamorous outfit to the party.
  2. They went all out to put on the ritz for their anniversary celebration, renting a fancy venue and hiring a live band.
  3. He impressed his colleagues by putting on the ritz during his presentation, with a well-tailored suit and polished speaking skills.

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