Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kick

Kick is an interesting word, especially in today’s society. It has a bunch of different meanings, depending on how and when it is used. In fact, once I got to thinking about it, kick is quite the chameleon, changing with every conversation and speaker.

Kick. Of course, we have the classic usage of the word, which is to exert force with your leg and actually kick something, whether it’s a ball, a tree, or a tire. For you martial arts gurus out there, it could also be a person. K could have been for karate.

I’m kicking it. I’m going to kick it and wait. In this instance, kick means to relax. Weird, because I can’t think of any instances where punch is meant to be relaxed. Maybe they are kicking responsibility. The more I think about it, the more that term seems odd.

Hey, kick-down.
This term is classically used when referring to drugs, but has since trickled into mass society and can be coupled with anything. If one friend grabs a soda but neglects to get his other friends sodas, someone may yell, “Hey, kick-down, dude!” at him, meaning they also wish for a soda.

Kick-down linkage. Back in the olden days, before computers controlled engines and transmissions in vehicles, cars came with a kick-down linkage. Basically, it was an adjustable rod that told the transmission when to sink into passing gear. If you disconnected it altogether, the car would never hit passing gear. If you tightened it up real snug, the slightest blip of the throttle could place you into second gear, engine RPMs climbing.

Kick the habit. Yea, folks who are quitting drugs or smoking or drinking are sometimes said to be “kicking the habit”. I supposed the thinking is that if you kick a ball, it goes away from you. That’s probably just where the addict wants their habit to go. This one makes some sense.

Kick rocks. This phrase is told to someone when you want them to go away. Get lost. Scram. Not a lot of folks use it today, but if you watch movies from the ‘50s or ‘60s, it was quite a common term. It’s slowly but surely going the way of “Bitchin’” and “Groovy”.

Dang, that baby has some kick! Sometimes, kick is used to mean the amount of recoil felt from a firearm. Pistols with hot loads such as the .357 or .44 Magnum revolvers are said to have a lot of kick, because the force felt when the bullet is fired is great. A shotgun is another good example. Semi-automatic pistols tend to have much less kick because of the presence of recoil springs, which lessen the blow in a big way.

Hey, homie, I got some new kicks. That is the new-fangled term for shoes. It isn’t too entirely difficult to connect the dots and figure out why, but I still find it hard to get used to. I believe I’ll always prefer “shoes”.

Whoa, that’s a kickin’ tune! Here, “kickin’” is used in place of “good” or “awesome”. I must admit I’m guilty of using this one from time to time. It’s a curse, I guess. I like kickin’ music.


Loki Morgan said...

haha for the 'dang, baby has some kick' I was thinking of a pregnant woman. lol! :) then I read it was guns. too funny!

Marie Anne said...

I was doing ok until 'kick down linkage'. Thought it had something to do with linkbacks to our articles.

Christina said...

Ha! Except I still use kick rocks. That's like my favorite phrase ever. What do you mean 50s or 60s??? Kick rocks ain't going nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Funny post - I learned a few new things today, thanks D!

Karen B said...

I've never heard of a couple of these. Another new thing I learned today, or in this case things. :-)

Langley said...

This is so interesting. I love to use kick as in relaxing (kick back) but that is odd now that you mention it. I also think it's funny to call shoes 'kicks.' Some of your other examples are new to my.