Posted by Smokey Stover on November 19, 2004
In Reply to: Let's get cracking! posted by SR on November 19, 2004
: I just said this to some students and, thanks to the PF, found myself asking,"What is the origin of this phrase?"
: Any ideas? SR
I can't help you with the origin of the phrase, but here's what the OED says. "b. Colloq. phr. to get cracking: to get started; to 'get a move on'. Cf. GET v. 32b. Also with noun or pronoun (or other object) interposed between get and cracking. 1937 PARTRIDGE Dict. Slang 324/1 Get cracking, to begin work.
c. to get going: to begin; to start talking, acting, etc., vigorously; to get into full swing; to 'get a move on'. Also trans., to start; to render (someone) excited, talkative, etc. See also to get cracking s.v. CRACK v. 22b.
1897 O. W. HOLMES Pollock-Holmes Lett. I. 77 He is really fine when he gets going on the Church of England." SS