In a secret location from L.A Confidential (1997), Dudley is extracting information about Pierce Patchett’s activities from Sid, the editor of Hush Hush magazine, who is tied to a chair. Bud White is being used to physically torture Sid in the extraction process:

Sid: Blackmail shit. In my car, in the trunk, under the rug....Patchett got me to photograph this cop screwing this gorgeous slut named Lynn.

What does "under the rug" mean?

  • It was where he was photographing them from. But it's kind of silly. It implies he was hiding under a rug while photographing them.
    – Lambie
    Feb 2 at 17:21
  • @Lambie But it's kind of silly? You mean my question sounds silly ?
    – Rush D
    Feb 2 at 17:27
  • 2
    No, the idea of hiding under a rug to photograph people is silly.
    – Lambie
    Feb 2 at 17:36
  • 1
    Note, this time if you were to look up "under the rug" you'd find the idiom "to sweep under the rug," which has nothing to do with this quote. Feb 2 at 18:26
  • @AndyBonner I know that both are not equal.
    – Rush D
    Feb 2 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


Here, in the context of this part of the sentence (not having seen the movie itself) - 'In my car, in the trunk, under the rug', it simply means that there is something under the rug in the trunk of the car that is being referenced here. Taking the whole sentence into account, it seems to be referencing to a set of photographs those are there under the rug (mats or carpeting in the trunk) which can be used to blackmail the said cop.

  • 1
    The sentence that comes next would seem to go against this interpretation.
    – Lambie
    Feb 2 at 17:37

Imagine having a dirty floor, using a broom to collect the dirt, and because you are too lazy to move the dirt to the dust bin, you lift one corner of a carpet or rug and sweep the dirt literally under the carpet or under the rug. The expression “sweeping something under the rug” means that instead of solving a problem, you hide it in a not very hidden place. Do it often enough and you have bumps everywhere in your carpet or rug.

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