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Related to gearing: gearing up, gearing towards, Gearing ratio
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A into G

An abbreviation of "arse into gear" (or "ass into gear"), meaning to get going or moving. Primarily heard in New Zealand. You're starting off a little bit slow this morning, you need to get your A into G.

grind (someone's) gears

To greatly or specifically irritate or annoy someone. It really grinds my gears when cyclists go zipping through red lights! John's not a bad guy, but he has a habit of grinding people's gears with his political rants.
See also: gear, grind

in full gear

At the highest or maximum level of function, operation, or performance. The project is in full gear now that we have Sally on board.
See also: full, gear

move through the gears

To steadily increase one's momentum, as of speed, intensity, progress, or success. The home team has been training for weeks for this showdown, but they've barely had to move through the gears against such a poor performance by their opponents. With a lot of hard work and perseverance, our little business is finally starting to move through the gears!
See also: gear, move

gear someone or something up (for someone or something)

to prepare someone or something for someone or something. We have to gear up the workers for the arrival of the new manager. We geared ourselves up for Frank, who was coming to lecture to us.
See also: gear, up

gear something to someone or something

to cause something to match something else; to create or adapt something for a specific purpose. Tim geared his speech to his audience. The newspaper geared its language to a fourth-grade reading level.
See also: gear

gear up for someone or something

to get ready for something. We are busy gearing up for Joan's visit next week.
See also: gear, up

get one's ass in gear

 and get one's tail in gear
Sl. to get moving; to get organized and get started. (Use caution.) Come on, you guys. Get moving. Get your ass in gear!
See also: ass, gear, get

*in full swing

 and *in high gear
Fig. at the peak of activity; moving fast or efficiently. (*Typically: be ~; move [into] ~; get [into] ~.) In the summer months, things really get into full swing around here. We go skiing in the mountains each winter. Things are in high gear there in November.
See also: full, swing

*in high gear

1. [of a machine, such as a car] set in its highest gear, giving the greatest speed. (*Typically: be ~; get [into] ~; move [into] ~.) When my car is in highgear, it goes very fast. You can't start out in high gear. You must work up through the low ones.
2. Go to in full swing.
See also: gear, high

swing into high gear

to begin operating at a fast pace; to increase the rate of activity. During the winter season we swing into high gear around here. The chef swings into high gear around six o'clock in preparation for the theater crowd.
See also: gear, high, swing

in gear

working well I'd just awakened and I didn't have my brain in gear yet.
Usage notes: often used in the form get something (back) in gear: Leaders from both sides will meet in Washington in an effort to get peace talks back in gear.
Etymology: based on the idea of an engine with gears (machine parts that help an engine move or operate a machine or vehicle)
See also: gear

in high gear

also in full gear
at the highest level of operation Preparations for the convention started weeks ago and are now in high gear.
See also: gear, high

shift gears

also switch gears
to suddenly change what you are doing I'd like to shift gears now and talk about a personal concern.
Etymology: based on the idea that a vehicle will change speed when you change gears (machine parts)
See also: gear, shift

in full swing

moving quickly forward In Moscow, a building boom is in full swing.
See also: full, swing

get your arse in gear

  (very informal!)
to force yourself to start working or to hurry If she doesn't get her arse in gear she'll be late again.
See also: arse, gear, get

get your brain in gear

to make yourself start thinking clearly and effectively I've got to get my brain in gear for the meeting this afternoon.
See also: brain, gear, get

get in/into gear

to start to work effectively and with energy After a few days out of the office it always takes me a while to get into gear when I come back.
See also: gear, get

move/step up a gear

to start to work or play more effectively or quickly than before With just five lengths to go, the German swimmer stepped up a gear and edged ahead to win the race.
See also: gear, move, up

high gear

A state of maximum activity, energy, or force. For example, His mind was in high gear as he studied for the medical exam, or The political campaign is finally moving into high gear. This expression alludes to the high gear of an engine transmission, used at the fastest speeds.
See also: gear, high

in full swing

Also, in full cry. In full operation, at the highest level of activity. For example, After the strike it would be some time before production was in full swing, or His supporters were out in full cry. The first expression, dating from the mid-1800s, alludes to the vigorous movement of a swinging body. The second employs full cry in the sense of "vigorous pursuit," a usage dating from the late 1500s that may be dying out.
See also: full, swing

slip a cog

Also, slip a gear or one's gears . Lose one's ability to reason soundly or make correct judgments, as in She must have slipped a cog or she would never have gone out barefoot in December, or What's the matter with him? Has he slipped his gears? These slangy usages allude to a mechanical failure owing to the cog of a gear or a gear failing to mesh. The first dates from about 1930, the variant from the 1960s.
See also: cog, slip

gear toward

or gear to
To alter something in order to meet needs, requirements, or expectations of someone or something: We must gear our presentation toward the younger members of the audience. The redesign of the aircraft was geared to making it use fuel more efficiently.
See also: gear, toward

gear up

1. To get ready for something, especially an upcoming action or event; prepare for something: The investors geared up for the merger of the two companies.
2. To get something ready for an upcoming action or event: The company is gearing up its marketing team for the release of the new film. We geared the truck up for the journey.
See also: gear, up


1. mod. excellent. This jazz is really gear!
2. n. an asterisk (*). The gear stands for anything you want it to stand for.

get one’s ass in gear

and get one’s tail in gear
exclam. to get moving; to get organized and get started. (Usually objectionable.) Come on, you guys. Get moving. Get your ass in gear! Get moving, guys. Get your tail in gear and keep moving!
See also: ass, gear, get

get one’s tail in gear

See also: gear, get, tail

reverse gears

tv. to wretch as a prelude to vomiting; to vomit the stomach contents. Beavis is reversing gears and might be going to vomit. You never know with Beavis.
See also: gear, reverse

swing into high gear

in. to begin operating at a fast pace; to increase the rate of activity. The chef swings into high gear around eight o’clock in preparation for the theater crowd.
See also: gear, high, swing

in full swing

At the highest level of activity or operation.
See also: full, swing
References in periodicals archive ?
For the purpose of more clearly outlining this method, reference is made to a typical planetary gearing mechanism having gears of the same circular pitch.
OTC BB: IKGI), a leader in innovative gearing systems technology, and in keeping with their objective of further developing new technologies, has filed three provisional patent applications with the U.
The core of the Berstorff gear pump is a pair of gear shafts with double helical gearing (figure 1), to prevent axial forces from acting on the bearings of both shafts.
Philadelphia Gear Corporation, a full-service provider of gearing and power transmission solutions, announces the appointment of Gaetan Perron to the position of Sales Representative, servicing existing Philadelphia Gear customers in Canada and expanding PGC's customer base in Eastern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.
Philadelphia Gear Corporation, a full-service provider of gearing and power transmission solutions, announces the hiring of John Maskaluk as General Manager of its Western Region, headquartered in Lynwood, California.
The Pfauter acquisition is a major step forward in Gleason's strategic plan, commenced in the early 1990's, to complement its acknowledged leadership in bevel gearing by building its presence in the cylindrical gearing market.