get the ball rolling


Also, keep the ball rolling. Start an undertaking; also, keep an undertaking from flagging. For example, Let's get the ball rolling by putting up some posters, or The hostess kept the ball rolling, talking to each of the guests in turn. This expression originated in one or another sport in which it was important to keep a ball moving. [Colloquial; late 1700s] Also see get the show on the road.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.