give it some welly

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Alternative forms[edit]


give it some welly (third-person singular simple present gives it some welly, present participle giving it some welly, simple past gave it some welly, past participle given it some welly)

  1. (Britain) To increase fuel or power to an engine, as to a car by depressing the gas pedal.
    • 2000, Autocar‎, page 63:
      Believe me, if you give it a little welly down a twisty B-road this car feels pretty entertaining
    • 2007, David Dixon, Richard Noble, Tom Walkinshaw's Le Mans Effort, in Watts My Line?: The Life and Work of Editorial Artist, Lawrie Watts, page 72,
      Having put the engineer at ease, I think, it was time to give the car some welly and I was amazed how effortlessly it rocketed up to, er, high speeds, then lost speed almost as rapidly when the powerful brakes came into use.
    • 2008, Alan McMonagle, Liar, Liar:
      I insisted we share the driving and, after we pulled in for a tank of petrol one hour into our drive, she reluctantly let me take over. 'Give it some welly,' she said to me as I eased off the clutch. 'I'm trying,' I said
  2. (Britain) To apply great physical effort to (something).
    • 2008, Mark Salter, Trevor Turner, Community Mental Health Care: A Practical Guide to Outdoor Psychiatry,
      First they always obey the golden rule ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might’ (Ecclesiastes 9:19), which translates as ‘always give it some welly’.
    • 2008, Ben Barnes, Plays and Controversies: Abbey Theatre Diaries 2000-2005[1], page 40:
      I was then given the floor and had already determined that an impassioned rather than a measured delivery was what the occasion called for and as these opportunities do not present themselves very often I thought I would give it some welly.
    • 2008, Andy Thackwray, The Fruits From An Innocent Mind[2], page 52:
      So there I was, the dutiful husband, holding onto my wife's head and shouting words of comfort to her, “Go on love, give it some welly!” I'd completely forgotten all I'd learned from the classes I'd attended prior to our Thomas's arrival.

Usage notes[edit]

  • It can be replaced by noun phrases.
  • Some can be replaced by a limited number of determiners, such as a little, no, any, much, and some equivalent phrases, such as a bit of.

See also[edit]