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Haul ass

Posted by Smokey Stover on July 26, 2008 at 05:38

In Reply to: Haul ass posted by Tammy Ashmor on July 25, 2008 at 11:01:

: Where did the term "haul ass" come from?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines it thus:

"colloq. (chiefly U.S.). to haul ass: to get going, get a move on; to move swiftly, hurry up."

The first example they cite is:

"1918 L. G. NOYES Gloss. U.S. Navy Slang (MS), To haul ass, meaning 'to leave' or 'to get out'."

Since it is an ordinary combination of a verb and an object, it could be said to be integral to the language, rather than an idiom, except for the lack of a modifier before ass. On the other hand, I have frequently heard the expression with a modifier, usually a personal possessive, as in: "It's time to haul your a s s out of there." In this example, it's just ordinary English. Haul means pull or drag, so the sentence can also be expressed as, "It's time to drag your a s s out of there." In fact, drag a s s is sometimes heard instead of haul ass.

To simplify the expression, one may say, "It's time to get out of there." But emphasis and colorful speech is often more at a premium than simple speech.