Alive and kicking

Alive and kicking

Meaning

  • very active
  • lively

Origin

This is one of those expressions that lend themselves to imaginative interpretation. Partridge (1940) suggests that it is a fishvendor's call to advertise his wares. The fish are so fresh that they are still jumping and flapping about.

Another authority says it refers to the months of a pregnancy following 'quickening', when the mother is able to feel the child she is carrying moving in her womb.

Example Sentences

The universe isn't a machine after all. It's alive and kicking. And in spite of the fact that man with his cleverness has discovered some of the habits of our old earth, the old demon isn't quite nabbed. D. H. LAWRENCE, Selected Essays, "Climbing Down Pisgah', 1924.

I suppose if I died, you'd cry a bit. That would be nice of you and very proper. But I'm all alive and kicking. Don't you find me rather a nuisance? W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Bread-Winner, 1930. 

Usage: colloquial

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