Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rarin' To Go

Doug from Traverse City asked about the phrase raring to go, which often drops the terminal –g– in conversation. It means eager, on edge with anticipation, keen to begin a task or assignment.

It is a variation of rearing, a word used to describe towering promontories, but also used of a horse rising up on its hind legs. Since the 15th century, rearing has referred to a steed so excited that it is ready to fling itself forward and take off at full speed.

A few examples:
  • Hurd spoke up. “Lauren has already had some contact with Jimmy,” he said.
    “Yes, I have,” Lauren said, “and he’s raring to go.” [Hothouse Orchid
    , by Stuart Woods]
  • “I must have assumed he was raring to go, that I had my work cut out just to hold him off. Because whenever I saw him, I’d always get something in quick, then rush off before he could say anything back.” [ Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro]
  • “You’ll understand some day, Chileda. When it happens to you. You’ll get all riled up and raring to go and something will happen to keep you here because this is where you’re supposed to be. It’s where you belong.” [To Come and Go Like Magic, by Katie Pickard Fawcett]
  • “He’s finished his book and appears to be raring to go on our project. He’s going to want to interview you, and Hayley, among others. That’s not going to be a problem, is it?
    “No, I’m raring, too.  [Black Rose
    , by Nora Roberts]
  • “Let me just say this about spring training: When you’re a player and have been inactive all winter, you’re raring to go. You can’t wait to get on the field, to go in and see what changes have been made, who’s been added to the club.”  [Idols of the Spring: Baseball Interviews About Preseason Training, by Dan Zachofsky]

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Nook edition

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