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Posted by Lewis on August 11, 2003

In Reply to: Railroad posted by ESC on August 10, 2003

: : What's the source of "railroaded?" As in "She didn't deserve to be fired, she got/was railroaded." The only explaination I can think of is that it refers to when the railroads were being built and people who owned the land needed were sometimes treated badly.

: Here's what one source says:

: RAILROAD - ".The speed with which lines were bult and the railroad builders' disregard for anything that stood in the way of 'progress' inspired the term 'to railroad' by the 1870s." From "The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

There is also the aspect that railroads run on straight lines and that implies proceeding with a single idea without exploring the alternatives - on a railroad one goes from a to z without a detour to visit f or see if q would have been better. The implication is of limited thinking.