Over the hump

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Over the hump is an idiom with roots in World War II. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the meaning of the expression over the hump, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Over the hump describes a situation in which one has already endured the most difficult part of something, the point where one may relax and coast into success. Over the hump began as an idiom used by American servicemen, describing flying over the Himalayas. In the early 1940s, the United States flew supplies to Chiang Kai-shek in China, who was fighting the Japanese. The Hump was a slang term for the route over the Himalayas. This flight path was fraught with peril, as it was buffeted by winds, involved an extremely high altitude and poor visibility. Once one was over The Hump, he could breathe a sigh of relief.


Though one-man wrecking crew Isaac Guerendo plays a huge role in the Avon boys’ track team quest for a state title, what could put them over the hump are extra points from field events. (The Hendricks County Flyer)

All the money PSG has thrown around in the last few seasons has proven to do nothing to get the team over the hump, simply because money is not the problem. (The Chicago Tribune)

Byars said during a budget hearing Tuesday that lawmakers’ decision to fully fund the QBE — Quality Basic Education — formula helped push the system over the hump in meeting the financial demand of adding that many positions. (The Rome News Tribune)