Bring It On!

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Feb 3 04:26:03 UTC 2004

Just my casual impression, but it seems to me the usual form is "Bring him
on" (of course it could be "her", "them", or even "it").

Why the form? Is the "on" like the "on" in "he does ramble on" or is it
like the "on" in "on stage" or what?

Maybe the "on" adds the meaning "without hesitation" or so. Like "Just go
on and do it" or "Get on with it"?

It doesn't have to imply a fight or opposition although it often does.


1952: <<A July title fight between ... Gil Turner and ... Kid Gavilan was
in the making today .... / Young Gil ... said, "I'm ready for Gavilan.
Bring him on.">> [an opposing boxer]

1943: <<"Look at Black Moonlight! What hocks! ... Do you honestly believe
... that that caricature of yours could beat him?" / "Any day in the week
..." ... / "Then bring him on," Mr. Channing cried. "What are you waiting
for?">> [an opposing race horse]

1941: <<"... Who is he? Can he do anything at all? If he can dig an honest
ditch bring him on; I'm for him!" / ... / "Father! I didn't know you felt
like that!">> [a prospective son-in-law]

1925: <<"I'll fight Wills; bring him on," said Dempsey.>> [an opposing boxer]

1910: <<"Widow, I'm a man with a heart. ... I can find you a second husband
and warrant him true blue." / "Then bring him on," replied the widow, with
a laugh.>> [a prospective bridegroom]

1884: <<"Would Sahib like to see Hindoostanee man make tricks?" / "Yes,
bring him on.">> [a juggler]


-- Doug Wilson

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