Green’s Dictionary of Slang

go it v.

1. to move at great speed.

[UK] in Arber Eng. Garner (VII) 365: When these had shared their cargo, they parted company: the French, with their shares went it for Petty Guavas in the Grand Gustaphus [F&H].
[UK] ‘Gallery of 140 Comicalities’ Bell’s Life in London 24 June 1/3: Go it, Bob! pull away! here’s the b----y Traps!
[UK]C. Selby Jacques Strop II i: Oh, you impudent rascal! You are going it too much – put on the drag.
[US]G.G. Foster N.Y. in Slices 46: Calling with whip and voice upon his ‘crab’ to ‘go it or break a leg!’.
[UK]M. Reid Scalp-Hunters I 90: Go it hoe and toe! Old Virginny neber tire!
Northern Whig (Antrim) 18 June 4/4: Bendizzy [a train driver] was rather going it and some expressed a hint thjat he would burst his boiler.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor I 252/2: There’s nothing to smell or feel but bugs [...] if you turn down the coverlet, you’ll see them a-going it like Cheapside when it’s throngest.
[UK] ‘’Arry to the Front!’ in Punch 9 Mar. 100/2: Steam’s hup, and we go it like blazes.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘The Green-hand Rouseabout’ in Roderick (1967–9) I 322: Engine whistles. ‘Go it, tigers!’ and the agony begins.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘Sawin’ Wood’ in Digger Smith 87: The way she’s caperin’, an’ goin’ it.
[US]‘Blackie’ Audett Rap Sheet 150: The dogs was howling and yapping through the woods and me and Fitz was picking them up and laying them down as fast as we could go it.

2. (also go it hot) to commit oneself fully, usu. to a course of self-indulgent pleasure or as in a fight.

[UK]Sporting Mag. Dec. VII 163/1: To kick up a row or beat up a breeze, / I never sit quamp, like a mouse in a cheese, / But I go it and gag it, as loud as I please.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 74: Prime of Life to ‘go it!’ where’s the place like London. [Ibid.] 236: Logic, under the domino, had been ‘going it’ upon a few of his friends with much humour.
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 34: The effervescence of his wit may be seen to rise like sparkling champagne when Jack is about to ‘go it!’.
[UK]A. Smith Natural History of the Gent 52: You will find them [...] overstepping all bounds of ordinary behaviour —‘going it,’ to use their own words.
[UK]Thackeray Pendennis I 181: You’re going too fast, and can’t keep up the pace [...] I tell you, you’re going it with fellers beyond your weight.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 84: Why, you got on pretty well till old Slowcoach came in, and then you certainly did go it, and no mistake!
[UK]W. Pratt Ten Nights in a Bar-Room II ii: But I say, Green, I’m beginning to go it a little too steep. I’ll reform; I’ll give it up!
[US]‘Timothy Titcomb’ Letters to Young People 141: If you imagine that you may ‘go it while you are young, for when you are old you can’t,’ you won’t ‘come it,’ ‘by a long chalk.’.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 605: To go and to go it is common gamblers’ slang, as much English as American.
[UK] ‘’Arry on His ’Oliday’ in Punch 13 Oct. 160/2: Just go it tip-top while you’re at it, and blow the expense, is my plan.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 31 May35/3: ‘I think Paris is a stunning lark. At Paris you can go it well’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Sept. 11/4: Lord St Leonards is undoubtedly ‘going it,’ but they ought not to have rushed his name into the papers in connection with such a plebeian bit of business as a bar riot.
‘My Berty’ (broadside ballad) Berty isn’t bad-tempered, though he’s such a fiery lot; / And he’s cool, though when he’s spreeing, he’s a boy that goes it hot.
[UK]H. Nisbet Bushranger’s Sweetheart 119: We are going it [...] oh, we are established on a firm basis now.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 221: Well, well, there’s nothing like ‘going it’ while the pocket-money lasts.
[US]‘Henry Green’ Mr. Jackson 3: ‘Gee, I feel just like goin’ it all night,’ confessed John.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 405: Steve boy, you’re going it some.
[US]Rosa Henderson ‘Do That Thing’ [lyrics] Go it stiff.
[UK]G. Greene Gun for Sale (1973) 14: Go it, Alice, what an ugly pair you are.
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 141: I could go it a treat.
[UK]N. Marsh Final Curtain (1958) 9: ‘You are going it,’ she added, squinting at Miss Bostock’s canvas.
[US](con. 1930s) R. Barber Night They Raided Minsky’s (1968) 223: I’m Cleo. Curtain up we’re on the barge, goin’ it hot and heavy.
[UK]B. James Detective is Dead (1996) 77: Poise? That’s going it a bit.

3. to work as a prostitute.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 89: Go it ‘Does she go it?’ said of a doubtful whore.

4. constr. with for, to offer one’s support.

[US] ‘Come, Rouse Up, Ye Bold Hearted Whigs of Kentucky’ in Littell Clay Minstrel (1844) 334: There are many Republicans, old men and new; / To all such we say [...] ‘go it’ for Harry.

5. to fight physically or verbally.

Poor man’s Guardian 25 May 6/1: A man rushed out from the body of the police, and violently struck about him, having said to those behind him, ‘Now, go it, boys’.
[UK]G.R. Sims Three Brass Balls 50: The one-legged gentleman and his good lady were [...] going it hammer and tongs.
[US](con. 1860s) W. Goss Recollections of a Private 293: One time, when we were ‘going it’ hot and heavy, a reb stuck up his gray or white hat on his bayonet.

6. (Aus.) to accept, to believe in.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Aug. 17/2: We can’t believe your yarn, oh! Ballie – / Pray, do forgive our little sally; / List to us now while we holloa it – / We’ll see you hanged before we ‘go’ it.
[NZ]G. Slatter Gun in My Hand 98: I’ve watched professional soccer in England [...] Couldn’t go it at all. Hosed me off completely.

7. to masturbate.

[UK]P. Willmott Adolescent Boys of East London (1969) 54: There were boys at school who used to do it underneath the desk. Glassy looking and going it like mad, they were.

In phrases

go it blind (v.)

(US) to enter on an undertaking without proper preparation or planning.

[US]Spirit of the Times (N.Y.) 14 Mar. 18: Don’t think of ‘going it blind’, but according to Walker!
[US]N.-Y. Trib. n.p.: The Whig candidate must be fair and square on all the great questions before the country. He would speak not of his own course, but the Whig people could not go it blind [B].
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers (1880) 98: Level with the mind / Of all right-thinkin’, honest folks thet mean to go it blind.
[US]Sacramento Spirit of Age 13 Mar. 2/1: The Council, probably, intend we should ‘go it blind’ [DA].
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers 2nd series (1880) 82: An’ agin to impress on the poppylar mind / The comfort an’ wisdom o’ goin’ it blind.
[US]Schele De Vere Americanisms 328: Blind Poker has given rise to the very common phrase, to go it blind, used whenever an enterprise is undertaken without previous inquiry.
[US] ‘English Sl.’ in Eve. Telegram (N.Y.) 9 Dec. 1/5: Let us present a few specimens:– [...] ‘Go it blind.’.
[UK]General Sherman Memoirs I 342: I know that in Washington I am incomprehensible, because at the outset of the war I would not go it blind, and rush headlong into a war unprepared and with an utter ignorance of its extent and purpose [F&H].
[US]Ade Forty Modern Fables 62: ‘Perhaps I had better go it Blind,’ suggested the Bachelor.
[US] ‘Central Connecticut Word-List’ in DN III:i 10: go it blind, v. phr. To act without due consideration.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 475/2: [...] from ca. 1840.
go it hot (v.)

see sense 2 above.