Legs, endurance

Posted by R. Berg on September 03, 2001

In Reply to: It has legs posted by joel on September 03, 2001

: : : There is a reasonably common phrase, "[something] has legs." I'm wondering if it means, figuratively, that something is strong, agile, or has endurance.

: : : Does anyone know for sure which is meant? And, out of curiosity, what's the derivation.

: : Yes, you got it--strong or has endurance.
: : It is usually said about a film or play. Many times a film will open with strong ticket sales and if the ticket sales stay strong then the film is said to "have legs"-meaning the inherent goodness of the film can carry it instead of just a flash of curiosity.

: So, if I'm right in this, the *endurance* idea is the key element in the meaning?

As I understand the phrase, the key element isn't endurance (stamina), it's simply the ability to walk on one's own. A being that has legs is ambulatory. A good theater production will continue to attract an audience by its own merits; a bad one will just sit there, not moving along unless somebody keeps pumping money and publicity into it. But this idea awaits confirmation/correction by others more familiar with theater culture.