phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

"kicking off"

Posted by ESC on November 02, 2005

In Reply to: "Kicking off" posted by Hilary Blower on November 02, 2005

: I have only recently heard the phrase "kicking off" used to mean disruptive, noisy and agressive. Does anyone know the origin of this meaning of the phrase?

I haven't heard that phrased used that way. Maybe it relates to this:

KICK OUT THE JAMS -- "vb. American. to 'let rip,' get rid of all inhibitions and restrictions. A catch phrase in the rock-music world of the late 1960s, to which it was introduced by the rock group the MC5, who were allied to the anarchistic White Panther movement in Detroit. The phrase probably comes originally from an instruction to remove the chocks or wedges restraining a dragster car or aircraft." From the "Dictionary of Contemporary Slang" by Tony Thorne (Pantheon Books, New York, 1990).

kick (or break) out the jams (or jambs) v phr 1960s musicians To behave in an unrestrained way; be uninhibited; = let oneself go: "Kick out the jams, motherfookers -- Village Voice / "On Side Two they kick out the jams, or at least shake the Jello -- Rolling Stone [said to be fr jams, "chocks under the wheels of a dragster, used to hold it in place"]
From the _Dictionary of American Slang, Third Edition_ by Robert L. Chapman
The big-beat sound of a dozen 50-year-old junkies kicking out the jams on "September Song." (H.S. Thompson, _Las Vegas_, 1971)
I just needed to kick out the jambs, you know what I mean? (De Christoforo, _Grease_, 1978)