Posted by ESC on March 15, 2004
In Reply to: Right On! posted by Robert on March 15, 2004
: A common phrase uttered in the "Love in" era of the '60s was "Right On" - indicating the speaker was emphatically correct. Though no longer in common useage, I was wondering about the source. Was it perhaps from the US Vietnam war when a gunner or bomber asked of the Forward Artillery Spotter (FAS) "Did we hit it?" and the reply was "Right on target." Which might have then been shortened to the "Right on!" that we often heard. Any comments?
RIGHT ON T - "Right on time. See 'on time/on T.' The response 'Right on!' was derived from 'right on T' and popularized by the Black Panthers in the 1960s and 1970s."
ON TIME/ON T - "At the appropriate natural, psychological moment, regardless of 'clock' time. Probably from the Traditional Black Church expression associated with the story of Job. 'He (God) may not come when you want Him, but He's right on time.'" From "Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner" by Geneva Smitherman (Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, N.Y., 1994).
".Right on.which is first recorded in 1925." From "20th Century Words: The Story of New Words in English Over the Last 100 Years" by John Ayto (Oxford University Press, New York, 1999).