Old familiar sayings that are really entrenched in our everyday speech are more specifically referred to as idioms or adages. There’s such an abundance of these old phrases and sayings which are so woven into our everyday speech that, often enough, we don’t even know it when we’re using them!
Today we’re featuring the saying ‘Hit the Ground Running’. When we say that somebody ‘hit the ground running,’ what we mean is that they are moving at full speed from the get-go—that they began a new job with a great amount of forward momentum.
This saying paints the picture of somebody jumping from a moving locomotive and continuing on once they hit the ground without any pause in between. ‘Hit the Ground Running’ was a phrase that was being used in a literal sense by the late 1800s.
Nobody can be sure exactly where this phrase originated from. Some people say it came from riders of the Pony Express avoiding delay when they changed mounts. Others say it was stowaways jumping from freight trains. And, yet, some contend that it may come from troops who had been dropped into a combat zone (like the World War II D-Day operation).
Whether it was the origin of the phrase or not, the D-Day military operation did a wonder for the popularity of the phrase ‘Hit the Ground Running’. The phrase suddenly spread like wildfire as ‘Hit the Ground Running’ essentially became synonymous with D-Day. It was just another 25 years on that the phrase had taken on its more current implication of a figurative meaning.
This is our first Adage Origin Blog post for the year. Come on back next month when we return to continue our Blog series of Adage Origins. As always, thanks for reading, Folks!