one night stand

i understand what “one night stand” actually means.

but somehow I wonder where it came from, why it is called “one night stand”. when i first came across this phrase, I actually thought that someone stand to sleep for one night/that night.

looking forward to your answers, thank you all in advance.
guess that i don’t have to try it really to get the answer, lol.

There are two lines of thought regarding a “one night stand” that I know of …

The first is: One performance by a theatre group.

The second: Goes back to old London. In London many years ago they could not sleep on the ground because of rats and there were many people on the street, homeless. Back in those days certain establishments would ties a rope across the room and charge people a penny to basically hang over the rope to sleep.

I know there are many sayings associated with the “penny rope” as it was called in those days. I tend to think however that "one night stand actually originates from the first suggestion above…

Have fun …


hi, Rob,

thank you very much for your reply. it makes sense to me and finally i understand where it comes from! thank you.