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Go off /ɡoʊ ɔf/

verb Compound
To go off is to do something really impressive that everyone has to acknowledge it. Go off can refer to any extreme action as it can mean you will do something impressive, but it could also mean you want to go off on someone, which would mean you want to fight them.
 
The expression go off was first used as a way to say that a bomb is going to explode “the bomb will go off in 5 minutes.” Like a bomb, some people can get so mad at other people that they go off on them, meaning they explode with anger towards them. Through semantic amelioration, the expression gained a positive meaning as go off is now used to refer to amazing actions (not anger).
Etymology : The expression go off is the compound of the verb go (which comes from the PIE root ghe that means to release) and the adverb off (a form of the Old English root of). (Retrieved from etymonline.com). Through the adaptation of popular expressions and semantic amelioration, go off came to mean what is described above.
Source : Friends (In college): Me: “I used to practice gymnastics. I can still do a standing backflip.” Friend: “Go off and show us how you do it.” Me: “Okay, brace yourselves.” (In-person, August 2018). As described above in term usage, the slang for go off comes from popular expressions like “the bomb will go off in 5 minutes,” which means the bomb is about to explode. Then it changed its context and it got a positive meaning during the 2010s (Retrieved from knowyourmeme.com).
Last modified: 11 December 2019


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