Monday, December 9, 2013

Expressions I hate . . .

Get Go Grocery in Marfa, Texas

If there’s one expression I hate, it’s “from the get go”, as in “We were in from the get go” (and while we’re at it, I hate “give it up for...” when announcers introduce entertainment acts). My dislike of “get go” is intensified by the fact that a car with the words Go Get” boldly emblazoned on it in various places parks at the kerb in front of my house.

Some trivia and comments:

* * * * *

The words “from the get go”, sometimes written as “git go”, originated in the 1960’s from usage by African Americans. Meaning 'from the beginning', it has developed from the phrase “to get going”;

* * * * *

Some antecedents for ”from the get go”:

1966:

“I knew Dick and Jane was full of crap from the get go.”

—T. Cade in Negro Digest

1968:

“Most of these kids are disorganized from the git-go.”

—Washington Post, Times Herald

1970:

“I was ‘spicious from the ‘get go. ’ ”

—American Speech, Aphaeresis in Rapid Speech

1978:

“A dangerous paranoid pain-in-the-ass Cop God from the git-go.”

—Black American Literature Forum

* * * * *

Some antecedents for “From the word go”:

The first recorded usage is by Davy Crockett in 1833

1833:

“I was plaguy* well pleased with her from the word go.”

The Life and Adventures of Colonel David Crockett of West Tennessee, autobiography

*Plaguy: vexatious, annoying, bothersome, as in to plague someone

Portrait of Davy Crockett by John Gadsby Chapman

1850:

“It was whip and spur from the word go. His style and manner reminded one very much of Maryland's most distinguished orator, . . .”

John Randolph of Roanoke by F. W. Thomas

* * * * *

By the way . . .

The expression “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” is attributed to Joseph P Kennedy, the father of John F Kennedy, it being one of his favourite family sayings:

"Joe [Kennedy] made his children stay on their toes. He would bear down on them and tell them, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ "
[1962 J. H. Cutler ‘Honey Fitz’ xx.]

Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., and John F. Kennedy arriving at Southampton, England, July 2, 1938

(Joseph Kennedy Jr [1915-1944] was the oldest of Joe Kennedy's 9 children and was expected by him to become US President.  After young Joe Kennedy was killed on active service during World war 11, that responsibility fell on John 'Jack' Kennedy [1917-1963] as the next in line).

* * * * * * * * * 

No comments:

Post a Comment