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Southern Dictionary: Get the Lead Out February 11, 2009

Posted 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.


1. Aunt Debbie - February 12, 2009

You are so “funny”!!! My son has that same problem. Love you, Aunt Debbie

2. Beth Camp - February 14, 2009

Now, have you ever heard the phrase “Throw your butt out of gear”? This was used frequently in my family. See if you can guess the meaning –

3. grace - February 17, 2009

i use that phrase all the time, but never really considered its roots. good to know. 🙂

4. smooregasbord - February 17, 2009

I can only imagine the meaning coming from the Teves family.

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