Where does the phrase “to be in the groove” come from and What does it mean?

The phrase “to be in the groove” has no connection with being in a rut, for the current crop of American young people use it to mean to be exactly right, to fit exactly the mood or spirit.

It seems to be a coinage of the jazz or swing era of music and to have been derived from the phonographic records of that music; that is, to the quality of accurate reproduction of such music through a good needle traversing the grooves of a record.

The phrase is not more than about ten or fifteen years old, and, although applied generally to things that are functioning smoothly, its specific application is music.

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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