Get Your Act Together

A woman from Japan was telling a friend about her trip to the United States. The woman had visited major businesses and investment companies in New York City and Chicago.

I studied English before I left home,” she said. “But I still was not sure that people were speaking English.”

She was puzzled by “get your act together” which means to get organized. In business, it usually means to develop a calm and orderly plan of action.

Learning English says the expression probably came from the theater or movie industry and was common by the late nineteen seventies.

The Kirkpatrick’s book Cliches: Over 1500 Phrases Explored and Explained agrees and offers no specific source.

I found variations on the phrase, some more scatological, but no source.

People – when you invent phrases, please make notes.

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About Ponderer

Ponderer also writes science fiction and science-inspired rhyming poetry. Check her out at She worked at Rocky Flats for 22 years - you may know her as Kathy London.

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