phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

On the drag

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 29, 2006

In Reply to: On the drag posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 27, 2006

: : There's a phrase I'd like to know the origin of, namely "being on the drag" meaning to be running late for something.

: : I recently had to attend a business meeting in my company's London office but, not surprisingly, the train was delayed. So I rang my colleague in London to say "I was on the drag and would be there as soon as I could". My colleague (who is a Londoner) had no idea what I meant, and when I arrived at the meeting he said he had wondered whether I was going to turn up in a dress and high heels!!

: : I live in Ipswich, Suffolk and "on the drag" is something you hear people saying regularly around here. Bearing in mind my London colleague's confusion, I suppose the phrase's use might be unique to my part of the country, but I wonder if a) you have heard it before, and b) if you know its origin.
: Just to say that I'm a Londoner born and bred, living in Kent for the last 12 years, and I had never heard of it till your post; so I suspect that it may be very specific to East Anglia. (VSD)

Some folks use "on the drag" to mean on the street, or on the road, and it seems to me that Mr. Glading must have meant this. When a man dresses as a woman he's "in drag." The preposition makes all the difference. If a man comes to a party dressed as a woman he "comes in drag." There's a history of female impersonation and cross-dressing with the title "Drag." As to the first meaning, everyone knows about "drag racing." That means racing on a public street or road, rather than on a private track. And every town has a main drag, even mine.