Posted by James Briggs on February 19, 2003
In Reply to: Up and at em!(them) posted by ESC on February 18, 2003
: : Recieved an e-mail today, someone wrote "Up and Adam" and it triggered a discussion as to the origin of Up and at em!.. anyone know where this comes from?
: I don't think this was the first use of the phrase, but it's the most memorable.
: The Atom Ant Show made up a half-hour of the popular Atom Ant/Secret Squirrel Show. These cartoons spoofed the then-popular superhero and spy genres, respectively, and enjoyed immense success themselves.
: The star of the show was a very able arthropod who could not only fly, but also lift more than ten times his own body weight. Atom Ant communicated with his superiors via the antennae on his helmet, awaiting their orders to go capture an array of enemies, whose names were conveniently listed in Atom's "Crook Book." Even though Atom was not so easy to see, he could always be heard, shouting his battle cry of ?Up and at ?em, Atom Ant!?
I think the original saying was "Up Guards and at 'Em". It was allegedly used by the commanding officer of one of the British Guards Regiments, eg Irish or Scots, when attacking an enemy during the 18th century.