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on the right foot, get off

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Also, start off on the right foot. Make a good beginning, establish good relations, as in It's important to get off on the right foot in this new job. This usage, alluding to walking correctly, was first recorded in 1909; the antonym, get off on the wrong foot, as in I'm afraid we got off on the wrong foot with our daughter's in-laws, was first recorded in 1925.

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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.

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