Red Tape

Official formality; so called because lawyers and government officials tie their papers together with red tape. Charles Dickens introduced the phrase.

“There is a good deal of red tape at Scotland Yard, as anyone may find to his cost who has any business to transact there.” —W. Terrell: Lady Delmar, bk. iii. 2.

Red Tape

Dressing Edward VI.

First a shirt was taken up by the Chief Equerry-in-Waiting.
who passed it to the First Lord of the Buck-hounds.
who passed it to the Second Gentleman of the Bedchamper.
who passed it to the Head Ranger of Windsor Forest.
who passed it to the Third Groom of the Stole,
who passed it to the Chancellor Royal of the Duchy of Landcashire,
who passed it to the Master of the Wardrobe,
who passed it to Norroy King-of-Arms.
who passed it to the Constable of the Tower,
who passed it to the Chief Steward of the Household,
who passed it to the Hereditary Grand Diaperer,
who passed it to the Lord High Admiral of England.
who passed it to the Archbishop of Canterbury,
who passed it to the First Lord of the Bedchamber,
who put it on the young king.

Mark Twain: The Prince and the Pauper, p. 143.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Red Tape from Fact Monster:

  • Georges Courteline - Courteline, Georges Courteline, Georges , 1858–1929, French writer. His prolific humorous and ...
  • March 2007 - March 2007 Here are the key news events of the month organized into three categories: World News, ...
  • 2007 World History - 2007 World History 2007 Coalition forces battle insurgents on the streets of Iraq, as secretarian ...
  • Information Please: 2007 - 2007 Previous Year | Next Year World | U.S. | Economics | Sports | Entertainment | Science | Deaths ...
  • Tanzania - Tanzania Profile: People, Government, Political Conditions, Economy, Foreign Relations, U.S.-Tanzanian Relations

Related Content