Necktie party

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Necktie party is an odious idiom that has been in use for over 100 years. We will examine the meaning of the common saying necktie party, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

A necktie party is an execution by hanging or a lynching. A necktie party may refer to a lawfully sanctioned hanging, but generally, it refers to a situation in which a mob overtakes a jailer and administers its own brand of justice. The term necktie party came into use in the American Old West and originated as the term, necktie social. Interestingly, the term necktie party also referred to a type of social event in the 1800s in which neckties were auctioned off for charity. The term necktie party has been in use since the 1870s.


If it happened that a “renegade” got into the community, committing theft or other misdeeds, “there was a necktie party held.” (Madera Tribune)

The legislators held a figurative necktie party today for the state’s top doctor.  (Arkansas Times)

The following day a mob, encouraged to “join the necktie party,” broke into the jail, ripped Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie from their cells, beat them and dragged them one block to the lamppost and hanged them, before posing for a postcard photo. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)