Thursday, February 7, 2019

And don’t ya come back no more

I was reading an article yesterday. The author said he was going to “hit the road.” Even though it’s a common expression I suddenly wondered, “Why is it hit the road?” We don’t say we’re going to punch the pavement or clobber the cobbles (though maybe I will now). I understand hit the sack because, flop, I literally hit the mattress. But I don’t throw myself onto the highway. At least not on purpose. So I googled.
The earliest-recorded use of the phrase—in the form of ‘hit the trail’—was in a book called Wild North Land by W. F. Butler published in 1873. 
The origin of the term is from horses hitting the road with their hooves.
The phrase was originally about telling someone to leave. But, of course, now we usually apply it to ourselves. In my case, more over the past six years than during the previous 61 years.

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