Posted by R. Berg on March 21, 2001
In Reply to: Get your finger out? posted by Newgirl on March 21, 2001
: It actually means to get on with something but where did it come from - anyone know?
According to "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases American and British," by Eric Partridge, revised by Paul Beale, "take (or pull or get) your finger out" originated about 1930 in the Royal Air Force and was adopted in 1941 or 1942 by the British army. The first edition of Partridge's book had the meaning as "Stop scratching your backside and get on with the job." The revised edition, having been enriched by further scholarship, offers a different meaning as the accurate one. It has to do with couples rather than individuals.