Go to grass and eat hay.

Posted by Bruce Kahl on August 27, 2001

In Reply to: Go to grass posted by R. Berg on August 26, 2001

: : I am trying to find out what the meaning of "go to grass" means

: : thanks for any info.

: : tia

: Eric Partridge, Dictionary of Catch Phrases: American and British, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day, has an entry for this:

: "'go to grass!' is, said Hotten in 1859, 'a common answer to a troublesome or inquisitive person': obsolete by . . . 1900 in UK, it lingered in US until c. 1920, and in Aus. so late as the 1940s. Said to have been orig. US. Perhaps from putting an old horse out to grass."

: But in current use it MIGHT mean to deteriorate, as a garden goes to grass (weeds) when not tended--just my opinion.

You have just a piece of it as the full expression is "Go to grass and eat hay." It means "go away and stop bothering me."

Go climb a tree,
Go jump in the lake,
Take a flying leap,
Take a long walk off a short pier,
Go fly a kite
Go chase yourself
They all mean "go away, leave me alone."