alive and kicking

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Fri Aug 27 01:09:08 UTC 2010

Edward Greene, mail carrier between Hartford and Providence, reported to have been frozen to death, has written a letter, stating that he is "alive and kicking."
Morning Courier & New-York Enquirer, February 5, 1831, p. 2, col. 3

OED: kicking, ppl a
 a. That kicks, in senses of the verb; also in colloq. phr. alive and kicking: indubitably alive; very lively and active.

***   c1831 J. R. PLANCHÉ Olympic Devils in Extravaganzas (1879) I. 71 Plu. Alive? Char. And kicking. 1840 New Monthly Mag. LVIII. 497 He is (as the Irishman says), ‘alive and kicking’. 1860 Grandmother's Money I. 124 So I started off to Stamford Street, just to shew that I was alive and kicking.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.


The American Dialect Society -

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