This is a sentence I took from a book:

'Any chance of a bed on your floor this weekend?' 'Yes, of course, I can put you up.

The sentence is on the unit discussing about expressions with set and put up. The book gives examples of some phrasal verbs that have several meanings. The italicized phrasal verb put up in the quoted sentence above, probably means:

  1. Give accomodation to
  2. Display
  3. Raising

I consider the keyword bed and choosing the first sense (give accomodation to), that perhaps the speaker offers his/her friend to have an overnight stay. But, what does this really mean? Is it an idiom? I couldn't find this phrase in my dictionary.

  • 2
    You could take it to just literally mean a bed (i.e. a place for sleeping or resting, like a mattress) on the literal floor. Although it's not too uncommon to ask for one thing when you'd be happy with a number of things in that category (the category being accommodation in this case) or to suggest something else in that category (like how a beggar might ask for penny even though they may not actually want just a penny).
    – NotThatGuy
    Oct 17, 2021 at 13:10
  • 1
    Just by coincidence, my music player is playing Make Me a Pallet On Your Floor as I'm reading this question. Oct 17, 2021 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


It is indeed an idiom. From The Free Dictionary:

put someone up

Farlex. 4: To provide one with overnight accommodation, especially temporarily. A noun or pronoun can be used between "put" and "up."
We're putting up Jen's brother for a couple of weeks while he looks for a new apartment.
The airline offered to put me up at a hotel for the night.

McGraw-Hill. to provide someone with temporary shelter; to let someone stay the night.
Can you put me up for a few days?

"A bed on your floor" means the person is asking for very simple accommodations—sleeping on the floor. They may mean an air mattress or they may literally mean sleeping on the floorboards.

  • 4
    Here bed is being used in a looser definition of any "place for sleeping" rather than "a piece of furniture for sleeping in" (e.g. definition C here rather than definition A). Oct 17, 2021 at 11:19

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