Whitney from Memphis, Tennessee, is curious about the origin of the phrase to beat the band, which describes something happening in forceful or energetic way. Although the origins of this Americanism are murky, it may refer to a time when every public celebration or political speech was preceded by a performance by a band. If you beat the band, you were fast enough to get there first. The beat in to beat the band also reflects the percussive emphasis supplied by English words that involve hitting or striking. A whopping good time, for example, is an especially good one. This is part of a complete episode.

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