phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Take names

Posted by Smokey Stover on January 18, 2007

In Reply to: Take names posted by ESC on January 17, 2007

: : Does anyone the know the meaning of the second half of the phrase "kick a s s and take names" a U.S. Marine saying, I'm pretty sure. Jonathan

: Write down or remember the names of people who have offended you, etc. I believe you would "take names" and then go down the list and "kick ass." That's how I would do it.

It has now become a joking phrase on TV comedy shows, "I'm taking names." I think the phrase became common in reaction to the pigs (the police and the FBI) taking the names of participants or even bystanders at protest gatherings and political demonstrations during the 1960s and thereafter.

Without more context I couldn't guess why a U.S. Marine would say what you quote. To the pigs, especially the FBI, taking names was a way of kicking ass, specifically by engendering the fear that you might wind up on a list getting special attention.