Kick Start

In honour of JumpMag’s Kickstarter Campaign


Whether hyphenated, written as one word or two, kick start is easily recognised and popular in usage.


It has the feel of a new, fresh idiom, and indeed it is! It barely measures one hundred years of life, a mere blink of the eye in the thousands of years of language use.


So where does it come from? The answer is simple. It comes from motorcycles. It arose from the design of motorcycle engines that require the user to kick a device in order to start it – thus, the motorcycle is “kick-started”.


The first reference in print to this phrasing is from 1912, when it appears in a classified ad in the Evening Post newspaper in Wellington, New Zealand. It took a further two years, until 1914, for it to make its debut in Britain, at least in print, and then its career was, as it were, kick started, and references started to appear with greater frequency.


The literal meaning gave rise to the figurative sense, that of giving a sudden great impetus to something, and of course, it is in this sense that we see it frequently today. This being the case, I would like to ask you to add your impetus to the Jump Magazine Kickstarter Project, the online pre-teen publication that is looking for support.


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