from the git-go

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Senior Member

Context: Two agents are discussing the issue of arms and weapons in the broad context of the survival of the fittest theory:

A: "Engineers and scientists just flailing around, trying to get it right, killing people, themselves included, in the process. Failure after failure after failure."
B: "I suppose that's true."
A: "But weapons? They're efficient from the git-go." An accent, slightly Southern, protruded."
source: Edge, by Jeffery Deaver

I'd never heard the expression in bold before, so I looked it up. Here's what I've found so far:

the very beginning.

Now, the question I've been poring into is, what does the git refer to? I checked it, too, and it turned out that it's an example of British slang -- as opposed to the whole expression itself, which is AmE slang.

worthless person, 1946, British slang, a southern variant of Scottish get "illegitimate child, brat," related to beget

Do you find -- as I do -- this mixture of both BrE slang and AmE slang surprising?

Audio and AudioJnr
  • xqby

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I've always seen it as "get-go"; I would think that the e becoming an i is the influence of the Southern accent.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It's not the BrE 'git', a kind of person, it's a representation of a pronunciation of 'get'. The standard expression is 'get-go', and the dialectal appearance just adds a bit of flavour to it. Various other colloquialisms are sometimes seen with this spelling: I can think of 'all git out' (all fancy, all dollied up, I think); and 'git!' as a command to scram! vamoose!


    Senior Member
    British English

    Now, the question I've been poring into is, what does the git refer to?
    The others have cleared things up but I don't think anyone mentioned what get-go actually means.

    The get-go is the beginning or the start. I always assumed it came from the instructions at the start of a race.
    Get ready!

    Whether or not I am right about the origin, the meaning is clear.

    They're efficient from the git-go (get-go). = They're efficient from the start.
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