Throw the house out the window: meaning of the phrase

Throwing the house out the window: meaning

You may have heard the phrase “going all out” at some point. Its meaning, which you can know a priori, actually has a much older origin.

Do you want to know the meaning of throwing the house out the window? And when did this curious phrase originate? Then keep reading because we are going to give you the keys to achieve it. Shall we start?

The origin of throwing the house out the window

wooden house next to a river

To know exactly what the origin of throwing the house out of the window is, we we have to go to 1763. At that time, King Charles III reigned in Spain, known for being "the Politician", although he was also often called "the best mayor of Madrid." Charles III reigned from 1759 to 1788, and During his reign he appointed the Marquis of Esquilache, Leopoldo de Gregorio y Masnata, as Secretary of the Treasury. This person was the one who devised a way to increase the country's income with the aim of obtaining resources for the Seven Years' War, hence the National Lottery was invented.

At that time, The lottery already existed, although not in Spain, but in Naples. The first draw was held in December 1763 and was not like today, but was more similar to today's primitive lottery.

Of course now you will wonder, What does the lottery have to do with the meaning of throwing the house out of the window? Well, it has a lot to do with it.

At that time, winning the lottery for someone was a moment full of happiness and joy. Because it was when they could do a renovation or change the furniture in the house. The problem was that they were literally thrown out the window.

That is to say, If a family won the lottery and they wanted to change their sofas, beds... well, they would directly take it out of the house because at that time they could afford it. And because of the joy it gave them, they got rid of the old to make way for the new. Of course, those less attractive made new use of that furniture, which ended up fixed or reused if it was possible to do so (if not, it was left in the trash). So, if you look closely, in the end there were several people who benefited from this.

It is true that this does not happen now, especially because the form of celebration that exists is totally different from the one that gave rise to the phrase. And this in turn ended up leading to the typical “winning the lottery.”

The other origin of the expression "throwing the house out the window"

computer illustration of houses

Now, researching to be able to write this article, we have found another theory about this phrase, also in a way like a celebration of joy and jubilation, but it doesn't have that much to do with it.

You see, in this case, we move to 1759 in Níjar, Almería. Specifically on September 13, the day when Charles III is crowned in the Plaza de la Villa de Níjar. As you can understand, it was quite a celebration.

And as a celebration, there was a lot of drinking. In fact, It is said that they could drink for free, which is why they spent 77 arrobas of wine and 4 "skins" of brandy.

We already know that alcohol makes people "happy." And such was the euphoria they had for the celebration, that they decided to take the party to a much higher level. Their stop was the pósito, that is, the place where the wheat was kept. They got there, opened the windows and began to throw out all the wheat. But since they were not satisfied, they went to a tobacco shop, throwing away everything they caught; to the shops and businesses that there were and to the homes themselves.

There are writings that speak of all this as the "Níjar madness." So here you can see another of the origins, perhaps not with as "nice" a connotation as the previous one, but they would certainly have a great time. It would be another thing later to recover the losses they had to face.

Meaning of throwing the house out the window

Now that you know the origin of the phrase throw the house out the window, Have you wondered its meaning? With what you have read, you may think that its meaning is the fact of spending after a profit and wanting to have a new life more in line with the style achieved.

But the truth is that it has other interpretations. In other words, If before the meaning was positive, now it is not so positive.. In reality, we went from understanding it as something good to becoming an expression that is used when unnecessary, uncontrolled and excessive expenses occur. Here it is no longer seen as something "good", but rather as a waste of money, which can come from an unexpected income, yes, but also from bad decisions that cause money to be spent without having a head on what one is doing.

Current application of the phrase

man whose money rains

As we told you before, the meaning of the phrase has changed over time. and now this It is seen as the act of squandering, not sparing expenses.

An example of the application of this expression could be in weddings, baptisms, communions... Many people end up going into debt in order to spend the money they do not have to organize it beyond the real possibilities of those who organize it.

Another application is the use of this expression when talking about the salaries of footballers when it is transfer season, Some clubs being very generous and spending a lot of money.

Of course, there are other countries like Greece or Italy that continue to preserve not only the expression, but also the curious practice that it had in its origin (that of throwing furniture out of the window), especially on New Year's Eve, as a way of getting rid of the old to make room for the new and a new life.

Now that you know more about the meaning of “throwing the house out of the window” and how it has evolved from when it was created to how it is used now, would you dare to say it sometime in your life? You did before? We read you in comments.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.