Southern Dictionary: Get the Lead Out February 11, 2009Posted by smooregasbord in General.
I have a reputation for being notoriously late for events, appointments, and the like despite my efforts to be on time. I think it may be genetic, one of the traits passed down to me by my mom. When I was younger, my dad was always yelling, “Susan, you better get the lead out or we’re going to be late.” In other words, HURRY UP! It was used interchangeably with “get your butt in gear.” According to my research, the phrase originated in the 1930s and implied that “lead, the heaviest of the base metals, is preventing one from moving.” [Source: Answers.com] I guess you could say that since not much has changed, I must have a case of lead poisoning.