Posted by ESC on January 31, 2003
In Reply to: Saying "Go like the clappers" posted by Ken on January 31, 2003
: : Can any one tell me where the saying "go like the clappers" comes from and what clappers actually are.
From the discussion forum archives under "clappers":
like the. 'Very fast, or very hard (e.g. "run like the clappers"; or "the clappers
of hell").' Gerald Emanuel, letter of March 29, 1945: C. 20; since ca. 1925, much
used by the R.A.F. As _clapper_ suggests _bell_, so _hell_ rhymes on _bell_: and
_go like hell_ is to run very hard indeed.
From _A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English_, Volume II: The Supplement