English language Uncategorized

Fixing to go!

Q: Do you have any thoughts on the phrase “I’m fixing to go”?

A: The “fixing to” construction, meaning preparing to or getting ready to, dates back at least to mid-19th century America. A similar  phrase, “fixing for” (same meaning), dates back more than a century earlier.

Here’s an 1850s citation for the more familiar version, courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary: “Aunt Lizy is just fixing to go to church.”

These days “fixing to” is widely recognized as a countrified regionalism, usually Southern. But I used to hear it quite a lot as a child in Iowa. Rather charming, don’t you think?

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