Green’s Dictionary of Slang

grit n.2

[SE grit, the ground; SE in 20C+]

(US) land or property.

[US]G.W. Harris ‘A Sleep-Walking Incident’ Spirit of the Times (N.Y.) XVI Sept. in Inge (1967) 65: I never vierlates the law of horspitality at this house, nur on my grit.
[US](con. 1820s) ‘Skitt’ Fisher’s River 52: Here’s at you, sir. What bizness have you on my grit? [HDAS].

In phrases

hit the grit (v.)

1. (US, also cut grit, hit grit, hit the gravel, ...turf, wallop the flint) to leave, to get moving, to travel fast.

[US]Harper’s Mag. Dec. 139/1: As soon as I cut grit they all started too, and let loose two big bull-dogs they had chained [DA].
[US]Cheyenne Transporter 15 Apr. 3/2: The young man had to hit the grit lively.
F.B. Lloyd Sketches of Country Life 153: [He] hit the grit and hit it a movin.
[US]Ade ‘The Fable of the Society-Trimmers’ in True Bills 83: I never caused a Book-Maker to hit the Grit.
[US]J.W. Carr ‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in DN III:i 83: hit the grit, v. phr. To leave; to walk away. ‘I guess I’ll hit the grit, seein’ ’s I’ve got fired.’.
[US]Wenatchee Daily World (Wash State) 14 May 1/1: The big boxer accordingly armed himself ...] and hit the grit.
H.B. Wright Winning of Barbara Worth 268: We’ll hit the grit good and hard now for we must be in the sand hills by morning .
[US]Z.N. Hurston Sweat (1995) 962: Dat’s a nice snake an’ anybody doan lak ’im kin jes’ hit de grit.
[UK]M. Marshall Travels of Tramp-Royal 142: Then come on, you bull-men! Hike out, you flat-feets! Wallop the flint, you horn-hoofed wanderlusters!
[US]Z.N. Hurston Mules and Men (1995) 69: Grab your dinner-bucket and hit the grit. Don’t keep the straw-boss waiting.
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 87: The best thing she can do is hit the grit out of town.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 98/1: Hit the turf. [...] 3. (Hobo) To take to the road; to go out on the street or road to beg.
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 213: Blow, hit grit, hit the trail.
[UK]D. Hamilton Death of a Citizen 25: The rear end broke loose as we hit the gravel, and I almost lost the heap completely.
N.R. McMillen Dark Journey 150: Perhaps as many as one in three tenant families chose, in the plantation idiom, to ‘hit the grit’.

2. (US) to die.

[US]cited in DARE.

3. (US tramp, also hit the gravel) to jump or be forced to jump off a moving train.

[US]J. London Road 138: The shack stuck his head into my box and said: ‘Hit the grit, you son of a toad! Hit the grit!’.
[US]H.A. Franck Zone Policeman 88 128: [I] often find myself [...] carried entirely out of my district [...] and have to ‘hit the grit’ in ‘hobo’ fashion and catch something back to the spot where I left off.
[US]J. Tully Beggars of Life 47: ‘Pay us, or hit the gravel,’ snarled the conductor.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 132: He was either killed or compelled to hit the grit (jump).
RR Man’s Mag. 470: Hitting the grit or gravel — Falling off or getting kicked off a car [DARE].
[US]‘Dean Stiff’ Milk and Honey Route 207: Hitting the grit – To be forced off a fast moving train.