Posted by Bruce Kahl on October 16, 2002
In Reply to: 'Keep the ball Rolling" posted by ESC on October 16, 2002
: : What is the origin of this phrase. I cant find it 'Keep the ball rolling' Please e~mail me at email@example.com, Any help would be greatly appreciated.
: KEEP THE BALL ROLLING - "Take action to sustain a conversation or an activity. The popularity of the phrase in the United States can be traced to the presidential campaign of 1840, when supporters of William Henry Harrison took to rolling big balls in political parades and chanting 'keep the (Harrison) ball rolling.' The British have an expression, 'keep the ball up' or (sometimes) 'rolling.' It is a figure drawn from what happens in such games as soccer and tennis." From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).
Jeeesh, and all this time I thought it was from those guys on the Ed Sullivan show having to keep those plates and balls spinning and rolling!