The phrase "kicking in" is a colloquial expression with several meanings depending on the context. Generally, it refers to the start or onset of an effect, particularly in relation to substances or emotions. It can also mean contributing or participating, especially in a group effort.
The idiom "kicking in" is versatile and can be used in various contexts. However, its core meaning revolves around something starting to take effect or beginning to show results.
Let's break down its different interpretations:
The term "kick" has been in the English language for centuries, originating from the Old Norse word "kikna," which means to bend at the knee. Over time, the word "kick" evolved to mean a sudden movement or thrust, especially with the foot. This early use of "kick" to denote forceful action might have paved the way for the idiom "kicking in" to signify something starting with force or becoming effective. By the 20th century, "kicking in" was commonly used in various contexts, from machinery starting up to drugs taking effect. Its versatility made it a popular choice in everyday language, and it was often used in literature and newspapers.
The idiom "kicking in" can be used in a variety of contexts.
Here are ten examples to showcase its versatility:
The idiom "kicking in" has made its mark in various facets of pop culture.
Here are some notable mentions:
Like many idioms in the English language, "kicking in" has several synonyms or phrases that convey a similar meaning.
Here are some alternatives:
These alternatives can be used interchangeably with "kicking in" depending on the context, offering flexibility in expression.
It typically refers to something starting to take effect or beginning to show results. For instance, when a medicine starts working, or when a backup system starts operating.
The exact origins are unclear, but the term "kick" has been in the English language for centuries, originating from the Old Norse word "kikna". Over time, it evolved to signify forceful action, which might have led to the idiom "kicking in".
Yes, it's a versatile idiom that can refer to medicines taking effect, machinery starting, contributing money, any action/process beginning to show results, or the physical action of kicking in something like a door.
While the exact phrase might not exist in other languages, many languages have their own idioms or phrases that convey a similar meaning.
It's a commonly used idiom in English, especially in contexts where something is starting to show effects or results.
Yes, several artists have incorporated the phrase in their lyrics to emphasize a sudden change or realization.
While it's primarily a colloquial expression, its use in a formal setting would depend on the context and the audience's familiarity with the idiom.
Yes, it's been used in various TV shows and movies, especially when referring to a drug or medication starting to show its effects or a sudden realization.
Not exactly. While "kicking in" refers to something starting to take effect, "kicking off" generally means to begin or to start, especially in the context of events or activities.
Yes, like most idioms, its meaning can be positive, neutral, or negative depending on the context. For instance, "The side effects are kicking in" has a negative connotation.
Idioms like "kicking in" enrich the English language, allowing us to express the idea of something starting to take effect or beginning to show results. They provide a unique way to convey meanings and emotions without always being literal. Over time, these phrases become an integral part of our vocabulary, bridging gaps between cultures and generations.