On Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:29:35 +0100, Paul Carmichael
Post by Paul Carmichael
Duolingo tells me every day about now that I'm killing it and I must keep up my German streak.
What am I killing?
This is a colloquial use of "killing" to mean doing something very well.
OED "kill, v.":
Draft additions June 2015
trans. colloq. (orig. U.S.). To do or perform (something)
impressively or conclusively. Also: spec. to do extremely well at
(an examination subject). Frequently in to kill it. Cf. nail v. 6d.
1899 Werner's Mag. Jan. 376/2 Kill, to do easily.
1906 Dial. Notes 3 ii. 143 Kill, to pass an examination
perfectly. ‘I killed math.’
1968 C. Baker et al. College Undergraduate Slang Study 147 Kill
it, do well on an exam.
1982 Campus Slang (Univ. N. Carolina, Chapel Hill) Spring 5
Kill, to do something extremely well: She killed that song.
2001 Snowboard U.K. Sept. 43 Hamish McKnight was killing it on a
Burton Junkyard snowskate, pulling off big indys and even getting
close to 360 flips over the first box in the boardercross.
2011 T. Rayburn Pulse (2012) xiv. Matt said you totally killed
2012 P. Coughter Art of Pitch ii. 48 You have to go out there
and kill it, make them love us right now, and inspire the team.
I suppose that what is/are killed is/are the difficultie(s) in doing
whatever it is.
Similarly there is "conquer" as in "He conquered Mount Everest".
Peter Duncanson, UK