After about the third time today I heard some one or some team was “going like gangbusters!” my poor beleaguered brain finally thought to ask:
“What the hell is a ‘gangbuster’ and what is it they’re doing that makes it so special when they’re ‘going’?”
(We’re coming down to the wire on about three different things at once at work and there are some really long hours and some really high stress rates going on at the moment, so my brain might be short circuiting. Just a warning, FYI.)
I know what it means. In general usage it means you’re performing some activity with great vigor and energy, in the process getting a great deal accomplished. But that doesn’t tell me who the gangbusters are.
I know all about GhostBusters, both the originals and the (quite possibly even better) reboot. (“Safety lights are for dudes!”) I’m guessing they’re not necessarily related.
For the answer, I went to The Google on The Cyber.
Apparently there used to be a radio drama called “Gangbusters,” which aired from 1936 to 1957. (Wait, they were still running radio dramas in 1957? I thought that television would have killed them off by that point – but I digress.) “Gangbusters” was an audio police procedural wherein the good guys, the Feds, the agents for truth, justice, and the American Way (minus the blue tights, flowing cape, and red underwear worn in the outside) swept through the city and were extremely vigorous, persistent, and successful in their efforts to wipe out the crime rings and criminal gangs of the era.
Fair enough. I would have suspected that Prohibition played a part in why there were gangs and why the Feds were so pissed off and looking for trouble to begin with. But Prohibition ended in 1933.
I guess you had to be there.