Go for Broke (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Go for Broke"?

The term "go for broke" means to gamble everything you have.
Go for Broke (Origin)
The term "go for broke" originates from gambling and means to place all of your money on a bet in an all-or-nothing gamble. It has been in common usage since the 1940s. (The word "broke" is a synonym for "bankrupt.")

The saying was popularized by the 1951 film "Go for Broke!", which is a black-and-white war film that dramatizes the real-life story of a combat team from the US 442nd Infantry Regiment. Of interest, the 442nd Infantry Regiment was composed of Nisei, second-generation Americans born of Japanese parents. (NB: "Go for broke" is the 442nd's motto.)

Previous and Next Sayings

Test Your Knowledge of English Proverbs and Idioms

Ready for the Test?

More Proverbs, Sayings, and Idioms

Help Us To Improve Grammar Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?
Next lesson >

See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

Page URL