gird up one's loins
Likely a Hebraism, often used in the King James Bible (e.g., 2 Kings 4:29). Literally referred to the need to strap a belt around one's waist, i.e. when getting up, in order to avoid the cloak falling off; or otherwise before battle, to unimpede the legs for running.
gird up one's loins (third-person singular simple present girds up one's loins, present participle girding up one's loins, simple past and past participle girded up one's loins or (archaic) girt up one's loins)
- (idiomatic, intransitive) To prepare oneself for something demanding.
- 1857, Herman Melville, chapter 37, in The Confidence Man:
- Man came into this world, not to sit down and muse, not to befog himself with vain subtleties, but to gird up his loins and to work.
- 1920, Lucy Maud Montgomery, chapter 9, in Rilla of Ingleside:
- Then Susan said briskly, "Well, we must just gird up our loins and pitch in."
- 2004, "Editorial," nepalnews.com (Nepal), vol. 24, no. 6 (Aug 3-19):
- King Gyanendra must gird up his loins and prepare himself for all exigencies.