I will start by confessing I heard this phrase on a Geico commercial and thought it was really cute. There were these birds on a wire talking to one another. One said, “Fire it up, Will.” The other bird said something like how do you know it’s Will. Another said, it’s not Will. Then the word Geico appeared.
Fire it up — you would think it would have to do with a car, or maybe the cannonballs of old. But once I started searching this idiom it has nothing to do with either of these ideas. Wait for it — I was shocked. Fire it up refers to shooting a drug into your vein, or to begin smoking marijuana. Say what!!!???
I looked further, trying to associate the phrase with cars — you know, starting the motor, getting ready to go at a high speed like the NASCAR cars do. They say, fire your motors, but upon thinking about what they say, it’s not fire it up or fire your motors at all, it’s “Gentlemen (or Drivers), start your engines.” Ah, how we substitute one phrase for another because we think it sounds similar and therefore the meaning should be similar, but come to find out we really do not know what it really means. And the definition — totally different from what we could ever expect.
Now, don’t get fire it up confused with fired up. When you are fired up your feelings are aroused or excited — think of passion, or it could mean to begin to smoke, which would bring us back to fire it up. You are not going to fire up your passion, but your passion will be fired up. Think about someone who really believes in an idea and is willing to give time, energy and money towards that passion, that person is fired up. Excited, aroused. Willing to give. That person is fired up.
Back to fire it up. In my search, I found many a song with the title of Fire It Up, and the majority of them tell stories of drugs, and then there is Joe Cocker’s version. His is the only lyrics that had nothing to do with drugs — he tells the story of a broken heart and he urges the broken heart to let love be fired up again.
I wonder if those who created the ad understood that the definition of fire it up deals with drugs. I wonder if Geico knows. Cute commercial, really cute, but now every time I see that commercial, I am going to wonder about Will…what is really going on away from the wire the birds are sitting on….
And if anyone can find me another definition for fire it up besides dealing with drugs, please share and where did you find it.
Until next time…have a great one…