Have it away


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Have it away'?

Euphemism for ‘have sexual intercourse’.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Have it away'?

There was a previous meaning of ‘have it away’, which was used in the UK in the mid 20th century to mean ‘run away; abscond from arrest’. This was later extended to the more picturesque ‘have it away on his toes’.

The euphemistic version is first cited in the 1966 novel by Thom Keyes All Night Stand :

He could chat a chick and he didn’t mind having it away with some man either.

This was a variant of the earlier ‘have it off’, with the same meaning. Here’s an example of that from 1937 in John Worby’s The Other Half – the Autobiography of a Spiv:

I get good dough. I had it off to-night for five pounds.

Trend of have it away in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.