go to the mattresses

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go to the mattresses

To enter into or prepare for a lengthy war, battle, or conflict; to adopt a combative or warlike position. While the true origin is uncertain, the phrase was popularized in English by The Godfather novel and films, where it referred to warring mafia families housing their soldiers in small, secure apartments to await orders. While the political party has shown some flexibility over other contentious issues, it looks as though they're ready to go to the mattresses over this one. We'll go to the mattresses if that's what it takes to defend ourselves!
See also: go, mattress, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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