Posted by R. Berg on January 20, 2005
In Reply to: Spur of the moment posted by Word Camel on January 19, 2005
: : : What is the origination of the phrasr spur of the moment
: : If you use a spur on your boot or shoe to prod a horse into action the result is usually a quick response.
: : Just a guess.
: Spur of the moment is in the OED along with othe definitions of the word "spur". The first recorded usage was in 1801. Spur also means at haste so perhaps spur of the moment - something done impromptu or with out deliberation grew out of spur in that sense, as in a quick decision.
Something in the moment (the brief period of time when a decision is made or an action is begun) acts as a spur-an incentive, an impetus-much as the literal spurs impel a horse to go. What motivates a "spur of the moment" decision arises quickly, as opposed to long forethought.