tread the boards


To perform on stage


The actress has been treading the boards in the theater for years

He was excited to finally get the chance to tread the boards.


The phrase dates back to the 17th century, when it was first used by English actor William Poel.


What does ‘tread the boards’ mean?

It means to perform on stage.

Where does the phrase come from?

It comes from the wooden planks that make up the stage floor.

How long has the phrase been in use?

It has been used since the 17th century.