Go Places: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
September 27, 2023

The expression "go places" indicates that someone is on a path to success, has a lot of potential, or is destined to achieve great things. It reflects a belief in someone's abilities or potential based on their current actions or qualities. This idiom can be utilized in various contexts, including personal advice, professional recommendations, or to express high hopes for projects and initiatives.

In short:

"Go places" suggests that someone has a bright future ahead, characterized by achievements and successes.

What Does "Go Places" Mean?

This idiom has a literal and a figurative meaning. Literally, it suggests the action of moving from one place to another. However, it is most commonly used figuratively to denote potential success or achievement in someone's future. Here are the central themes that revolve around this idiom:

  • Potential for future success based on current abilities or actions.
  • Anticipation of advancements in one's career.
  • Indication of a promising future.

The expression can be employed in variations such as "going places" or "will go places" to articulate a sense of certainty regarding someone's potential.

Where Does "Go Places" Come From?

The idiom originated from the literal meaning of moving or traveling to different places. Its transformation into a metaphor for success likely stemmed from the perception that successful people often have the opportunity to travel and expand their horizons. Let's delve into its historical backdrop:

Historical Usage

Historically, the phrase has been seen in literature and speeches to emphasize potential and growth. This idiom is found in letters and narratives from the early 20th century, expressing optimism and forward-thinking. However, tracking the exact origin proves somewhat elusive as it naturally evolved from the literal sense of moving from one location to another.

10 Examples of "Go Places" in Sentences

To get a better grasp, here are some examples illustrating how to use "go places" in sentences:

  • He will go places in the industry if he can pull off that innovative project.
  • She believes that this new project will go places.
  • She's such a smart cookie; with her intelligence and drive, she's bound to go places.
  • Even if I don't know jack shit about the stock market, I can see that investing in green tech will make you go places.
  • With the right attitude and perseverance in life, you're bound to go places and achieve your dreams.
  • He was a brilliant student who was expected to go places.
  • I believe in you and your vision. With that level of commitment and innovation, you are sure to go places.
  • They have the talent to go places in the music industry.
  • The startup has the potential to go places.
  • Even though society often looks down on non-traditional careers, those who carve their path often go places.

Examples of "Go Places" in Pop Culture

The phrase "go places" has been referenced in different facets of pop culture, showcasing the promising future of individuals or projects.

Here are some examples:

  • In the song "Go Places" by The New Pornographers, the term is utilized to denote a sense of adventure and potential.
  • TV shows like "The Voice" often witness judges telling promising singers they are "going to go places."
  • The term has been used in various celebrity interviews to describe upcoming stars.

The idiom resonates well with the audience as it articulates optimism and potential.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Go Places"

Here are phrases that carry the same or a similar meaning to "go places":

These alternatives can be used interchangeably to convey a message of future success.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Go Places":

  • What does "go places" mean?

It refers to the likelihood of achieving success in the future based on one's current attributes or actions.

  • What is the origin of "go places"?

The exact origin is unknown but it is believed to have derived from the literal sense of moving or traveling to different places and over time, it gained a figurative meaning representing success and potential.

  • Can it be used in a literal sense?

Yes, it can be used to mean physically traveling to different places, although it is more commonly used to denote future success.

  • Is "go places" formal or informal?

It is generally considered informal and is used more in conversational English than in formal writing.

  • Can "go places" be used to describe groups or organizations?

Yes, it can be used to describe a group, organization, or even a project that shows promise.

  • What synonyms can replace "go places" in a sentence?

Phrases like "have a bright future" or "bound to succeed" can be used as synonyms.

  • Can "go places" be seen as patronizing?

Depending on the context, it might be seen as patronizing, especially if the person using it is assuming authority over the person it is directed to.

  • How is "go places" represented in pop culture?

In pop culture, it is often used to describe individuals or endeavors that are seen to have a promising future, appearing in songs, TV shows, and interviews.

  • Can it be used negatively?

Generally, it carries a positive connotation but it can be used sarcastically to imply the opposite.

  • What kind of achievements does "go places" usually refer to?

It often refers to professional or personal milestones such as career advancements, academic achievements, or personal development.

Final Thoughts About "Go Places"

The phrase "go places" is generally used to indicate that someone has the potential to become very successful in life. It applies in various contexts, from personal and professional to academic endeavors. The phrase can evoke a sense of ambition, potential, and upward mobility.

Here's a quick wrap-up:

  • It can denote a bright future filled with accomplishments.
  • It originally stemmed from the literal action of traveling to places.
  • The idiom has a warm presence in pop culture and is used to articulate optimism and potential.

With a rich history and a significant place in formal and conversational English, "go places" remains a popular choice of words to express belief in someone's potential.

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