get your house in order


Senior Member
Hello all,

FRANKLIN: This will break the tie. All right, John, who’s next?
JOHN: Pennsylvania and Maryland. I suggest you get your house in order and I’ll take a crack at old vacant-face. Lord, look at him stuff himself.
JOHN: Ah, Mr. Chase. How about it? When are you coming to your senses, man?
CHASE: Please, Mr. Adams, not while I’m eating.
<——-Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)——->

source: the film 1776

Here John is suggesting Franklin persuade Wilson into supporting Independence, and John himself CHASE from Maryland.
(The delegate of Pennsylvania consists of three men in the film: Benjamin Franklin, John Dickinson, James Wilson)

How should I understand the word “house” here?
a. A metaphor of saying something like "a family member" ?
b. your party (group)?
c. your house (as the Parliament house ) members?

Many many thanks.
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Without knowing the background, 'get your house in order' could well mean get your affairs in order, as it does these days. I doubt it refers to people except in as far as they form part of his 'affairs', meaning personal business in general.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    1. put one's house in order ⇒ to settle or organize one's affairs
    Since it's an idiom and we don't take idioms literally, I suggest you don't worry about it. :)
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