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Re: Haul ass

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 26, 2008 at 05:38

In Reply to: Haul ass posted by Tammy Ashmor on July 25, 2008 at 11:01:

: Where did the term "haul ass" come from?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines it thus:

"colloq. (chiefly U.S.). to haul ass: to get going, get a move on; to move swiftly, hurry up."

The first example they cite is:

"1918 L. G. NOYES Gloss. U.S. Navy Slang (MS), To haul ass, meaning 'to leave' or 'to get out'."

Since it is an ordinary combination of a verb and an object, it could be said to be integral to the language, rather than an idiom, except for the lack of a modifier before ass. On the other hand, I have frequently heard the expression with a modifier, usually a personal possessive, as in: "It's time to haul your ass out of there." In this example, it's just ordinary English. Haul means pull or drag, so the sentence can also be expressed as, "It's time to drag your ass out of there." In fact, drag ass is sometimes heard instead of haul ass.

To simplify the expression, one may say, "It's time to get out of there." But emphasis and colorful speech is often more at a premium than simple speech.
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