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The Canine in Conversation
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an illustration of dogs pulling a sled
figure 1  

 

mush. Get going or get going faster. A shortened version of “mush on,” from the French marchons meaning “let's go!”reference 1

While it is not among the more common expressions, it appears to be well enough known. In a somewhat tongue-in-cheek guide to assist Republicans in getting around New York during the 2004 presidential convention, New York Times automobile reporter Nick Kaye suggested that they not drive. Among the alternatives, he suggested Pedicabs and added this advice: “To quicken the trip, bring an energy bar for the driver. Don't yell ‘mush!’—they hate that.”reference 2

 

1. Neufeldt, Victoria, ed. 1994. Webster's New World Dictionary of American English. 3rd College Edition ed. New York: Prentice Hall.

2. Kaye, Nick. 2004. Follow That Horse-Drawn Carriage, and Step on It. New York Times, Aug 29, 1.

 

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About the illustration: This color plate from Hazel Boswell's book about French Canada is an excellent one to illustrate this colloquial phrase.reference 3 © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation. 2. Boswell, Hazel. 1938. French Canada: Pictures and Stories. New York: Viking.
cf: sic Last updated: July 28, 2008
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