Where does the expression “to get a kick (or charge) out of something” come from and What does it mean?

The expression “to get a kick (or charge) out of something” means: To become thrilled, excited, or stimulated by something physical, mental, or emotional.

The older American slang with “kick” is gradually being replaced by the later “charge,” having the same interpretation, but “kick” has served well for some fifty years.

Originally the “kick” was that induced by spirituous liquor, or perhaps by a sharp condiment, and the effect was physical, though considerably milder than if delivered by a horse or mule or even a high-powered gun.

Our metaphorical expression has also been accepted by English writers, as, for instance, by a correspondent to the Daily Express in 1928:

“I was told I should get a kick out of that journey , and I certainly did.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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