Something has legs

Something has legs  is a newer idiom with an uncertain origin. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom something has legs, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

When something has legs, it has longevity or staying-power. When something has legs,it will be around for a long time; it will endure and it will be successful. For instance, a popular play that continues to sell out its seating may be considered to have legs. A book that becomes a long-term best seller has legs. A news story, an advertising campaign, or gossip may have legs. The expression something has legs came into use in the 1980s and is based on the imagery of something that can carry itself forward on its legs. Related phrases are have legs, had legs, having legs.

Examples

And companies feeding into the housing market appear to believe the U.S. housing recovery has legs. (Barron’s)

And, with Rebecca’s background as a marketing and community support professional  (and Ron’s as a collateral-duty public affair officer in the Marines in both war and peace) ramping up a film festival right there in Beaufort “was an idea that ‘had legs,'” they were told. (Daily Commercial)

Matt Le Blanc’s spin-off series Joey had legs (2004-2006), so did his sitcom, Episodes (2011 – 2017), and he too branched out – as co-host of Top Gear (2016-2019) and executive producer/star of another comedy series, Man with a Plan (2016-2020). (The Morning Bulletin)