I recently notice that "beat it" have an idiomatic meaning similar to "get away".(am I right?)
I'd like to know the semantic relaltions between the verb "beat" and the verb phrase "Beat it".
How "beat it" get the meaning of "get away"?
Thank you all!
Tannen2004's suggestion sounds right to me. "Beat it" means "beat the ground with your feet as you're hurrying away from here". Another slightly old-fashioned way to say "take off" or "get out of here" is "Scram!"You're right, "beat it" means "go away" or scram. This website proposes that the verb "to beat" in Old English (betan) had as one of it's meaning "action of feet upon the ground" and that this might be the origin. There are other expressions in English that have this same connection of "to beat" and "to go (away)", especially "to beat a retreat".
I'm sure there are other possible explanations as well.
Most people who say "beat it" have absolutely no idea of its origins.Thank you!
Actually I didn't know that "beat" has such a meaning at all.
I just know something like "to beat someone/something" or "the hear is beating".
Now I think I know why you ask people to "beat it" when you want them to go away.
Really?It must be stressed that this is not a modern English meaning. The word 'beat' does not mean 'to run away' any more, the phrase 'beat it' is a set phrase that only makes sense when used in this exact context.