get the lead out of one's feet

get the lead out of (one's) feet

To do something at a faster pace. (Lead is a very heavy metal.) Come on, these papers won't file themselves—get the lead out of your feet, fellas!
See also: feet, get, lead, of, out

get the lead out of one's feet

Get going, stop delaying. Lead being a heavy material, the source of this expression, usually an imperative (“Get the lead out of your feet!”), seems fairly clear. There are numerous variants for “feet,” mostly less polite (pants, britches, ass, butt), and shake is sometimes substituted for “get.” It is also sometimes shortened to simply get the lead out. The term originated in America in the first half of the twentieth century and became widely used in the armed services during World War II.
See also: feet, get, lead, of, out
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