Buckle down, buckle-to

Posted by ESC on January 21, 2004

In Reply to: Buckle Down posted by Sax on January 21, 2004

: Hi! Can you please tell me what this means and how the phrase originated? Thank you - S

BUCKLE DOWN, TO - "To get down to work; to apply oneself with determination. The allusion is to buckling on armour before a battle." From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition). Another reference has a slightly different phrase with a different origin: "to buckle-to - To set about any task with energy and a determination to effect the object. It probably comes from harnessing or buckling to a carriage, the horses, before starting. In Scotland, buckle to means to join in marriage. - Jamison." From "Dictionary of Americanisms: A Glossary of Words and Phrases, Usually regarded as Peculiar to the United States" by John Russell Bartlett (John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, N.J., 2003. Originally published in 1848).