Sweep something under the rug and sweep something under the carpet are idioms. We will examine the meaning of the idioms sweep something under the rug and sweep something under the carpet, from where these expressions are derived, and some examples of their use in sentences.
To sweep something under the rug or to sweep something under the carpet means to hide something, to ignore something, or to conceal something. One may choose to sweep something under the rug or sweep something under the carpet because it is embarrassing, unpleasant to deal with, or harmful. The terms sweep something under the rug and sweep something under the carpet came into use in the early 1900s and are based on the idea of a lazy maid or homemaker sweeping dirt under a rug or carpet, rather than going to the trouble of getting a dust pan and dealing with the dirt to remove it from the home. The idiom sweep something under the rug is seen more often than the idiom sweep something under the carpet. Related phrases are sweeps under the rug, swept under the rug, sweeping under the rug, sweeps under the carpet, swept under the carpet, sweeping under the carpet.
“Sweep everything under the rug for long enough, and you have to move right out of the house.” (The Boston Globe)
A former food service contract employee had tweeted about the incident in January, claiming it was “swept under the rug,” a statement which Superintendent Sandra Lemmon disagreed with in a letter sent to the district community. (The York Dispatch)
Nabil Choucair, who lost six family members in the disaster, said: “It seems like the council wants to forget about it or sweep it under the carpet.” (The Evening Standard)
“Basically, what’s happened here is the government is looking to sweep this under the carpet,” the Meath West TD told The Irish Catholic, adding that a letter the family sent to Health Minister Simon Harris three weeks ago has been ignored. (The Irish Catholic)