[PW] Hockey term - "go" to mean fight

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Mon Jun 6 13:33:02 PDT 2016

The phrase "to go at" with the sense attack has a long history.

[Begin excerpt from OED]
go, v.
PV2. With prepositions in specialized senses.
  to go at ——

 1. intr. To attack, make an attack upon; (also) to set about or deal
with, esp. vigorously or enthusiastically. Also to go at it: to engage
vigorously or enthusiastically in some specified or implied activity.

1675   Accomplish'd Lady's Delight 233   If the Fisher-Man espye him
[sc. the Salmon], he goeth at him with his Spear.

1761   Kept Mistress 58   Up they both jumped, and at it they went pell mell.

1820   Examiner No. 637. 403/1   Our..Orator went at it again, like a
Titan refreshed.

[End excerpt]

On Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 3:52 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Oxford English Dictionary staff members who are responsible for
> locating citations illustrating word senses are often faced with this
> type of problem. Your database queries are probably generating too
> many irrelevant matches. You need to judiciously select more words and
> phrases to add to your query to reduce the number of false matches.
> First, you may wish to compile a set of passages containing examples
> of the linguistic entity under investigation. Studying this set for
> regularities is the beginning of an iterative process.  If you share
> your set of examples with list members they may be able to provide
> further help. Also, members of the American Dialect Society mailing
> list may be able provide assistance.
> Garson
> On Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 2:14 PM, Stacey Marien <smarien at american.edu> wrote:
>> Hello all
>> I am helping a friend trying to trace the origin of the verb "go" to mean
>> "to fight" in ice hockey
>> I have been searching historical newspapers but it seems impossible to
>> isolate the word"go" in the context of hockey and fighting
>> any tips on how to approach this?
>> Stacey
>> Stacey Marien
>> Acquisitions Librarian
>> American University Library
>> smarien at american.edu
>> 202-885-3842
>> orcid.org/0000-0003-2608-4559
>> _______________________________________________
>> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
>> list at project-wombat.org
>> http://www.project-wombat.org/

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