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"All get-out"

Posted by ESC on December 11, 2003

In Reply to: "All get out" posted by ESC on December 11, 2003

: : "I'm as busy as 'all get out.'"

: : I don't understand how this phrase makes sense. Any explanations into this one? Thanks!

: It is a country phrase. But I can't explain it. It is an all-purpose intensifier: as cold as all get-out; mad as all get-out.

AS ALL GET-OUT - One reference has "get-out" or "all get-out" as a noun with a first recorded use dating back to 1838, Neal, "Charcoal Sketches," sePA. "We look as elegant and as beautiful as all get-out." No origin or explanation is give. There is a preceding entry, get out, a verb phrase that means to cut or fashion from raw timber ; to cut or bring in a crop ; of fire, to break out ; and to shuck corn . I don't know if the two are related. From "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume II by Frederic G. Cassidy (1991, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England).