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"Getting ahead"

Posted by Patty on November 27, 2000

The simple phrase "getting ahead" (financially) is one I've wondered about. I understand its general meaning, but I've been trying to understand what its original sense was.

Did it mean to put away money beyond one's expenses? Did it refer to bettering one's lot in life? Did it refer to social climbing? To advancing one's career?

Thanks. - Patty