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All get-out

All get-out is a mass noun which means to an extreme. It is used in comparison to another item, usually with the word asGet-out is hyphenated in one dictionary entry, however, most users do not include the hyphen and simply make the phrase in three words instead of two.


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The phrase originates in the late nineteenth century without the word all (e.g., as getout). One of the first instances of its current form in print is the American novel Huckleberry Finn. The author, Mark Twain, was famous for his descriptions of Southern life and his use of common vernacular instead of the proper English of the time.

The phrase’s similarity to get out of here should be recognized; however, there is no evidence one affected the other, though it is possible.

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Comments

  1. Catriona M Mac Kirnan says:

    For an article on a grammar site, this article is appalling. The second sentence is missing a word (it used in comparison with another item…), which could be a simple typo. The last sentence, though, lacks the semicolon which must precede “however” in a construction of this type, and uses “effected” when “affected” is needed. What does this say about this site’s credibility?

    • Sheri Campbell says:

      I, too, wondered about the use of “effected”. Was the word used to convey the meaning of production?
      “to produce as an effect; bring about; accomplish; make happen:
      –The new machines finally effected the transition to computerized accounting last spring.”

      • Clint Murray says:

        I see the author has taken note of the criticism and changed it to “affected,” but I think “effected” is more effective. The meaning would be that one caused the other. I agree with the author, however, and see no relationship between the phrases which have two words in common, but not meaning.

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