Last week the Brand New blog critiqued the new logo and ad campaign for the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, which has rebranded the lake’s south shore as “Tahoe South.” The review, which focuses on the typeface, is generally positive: “This is probably not the best destination branding job of the year, but definitely one of the best examples of commissioned lettering with a strong purpose.”
The review doesn’t mention the new tagline, “Get Your Vacation On.” Here’s the tag in an ad:
Rebranding by Duncan/Channon, San Francisco.
“Get Your Vacation On” is a new twist on a formula whose contemporary source is “Get your groove on” (“to get something going,” e.g., “to dance”) from the early to mid-1990s. In her textbook African-American English: A Linguistic Introduction, published in 2002, Lisa J. Green noted that “get one’s X on” was “extremely productive.” Among the examples she listed: get my chill on (“to rest”), get my eat on (“to eat”), and get my praise on (“to worship”).* Green doesn’t include a much earlier example, “get your habits on,” which was discussed in the American Dialect Society’s listserv in 2005. “Get Your Habits On” was the title of an 1899 song that inspired many sequels and imitations, including one sung by Bessie Smith in 1933 (sample lyric: “I like you when you got your habits on”).
The 2003 remake of Freaky Friday used “Get Your Freak On” as a tagline.
“Get your freak on” can be sexual or non-. An example of the former: Last October, a TSA agent added a handwritten note—“GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL”—on a luggage-inspection notice given to a female passenger whose bag contained what she later described as “a personal item.” The passenger was a blogger, so the note found its way to Gawker.
Some non-freaky twists on the formula:
- Get Your Preak On is the slogan for the Preakness InfieldFest, held in May in conjunction with the Preakness Stakes.
- Get Your Geek On is “a weekly show about all things geek.”
- Get Your Geek On is also the slogan of GeekTheLibrary.org (“Whatever you geek, the public library supports it all”). For more on this slogan—and on geek used as a verb—see Ben Zimmer’s Word Routes column from November 2010.
- Get Your Craft On is the name of a crafts blog.
- “Get Your Roll On” was a 2000 single by the hip-hop duo Big Tymers .
- In 2008, Apple used “Get Your Groove On” as a slogan for the iPod Shuffle. The earliest citation for “get your groove on” in the Online Slang Dictionary is dated 1999.
- “Get Your Drink On” shows up all over the Web. It’s the name of a regular column about bars and cocktails in SF Weekly, a Bay Area publication.
- In its August 17-24, 2005, issue, Boston’s Weekly Dig newspaper used only “Get Your X On” headlines. ADS-L contributor Steven Kleinedler noted several of them: “Get your wiseacre on,” “City Hall told to get its green on,” “South End gets its sashimi on,” and the very meta “Get Your Get Your ___ On.” Kleinedler said the editor’s letter explained it all; unfortunately, the issue is not online, so I can’t share it with you.
“Get your X on” may or may not be related to the simpler and less variable “get it on,” which arose in the 1950s as a musical command and later took on a sexual connotation. (Marvin Gaye released “Let’s Get It On” in 1976.) In “get it on” the emphasis is on the on; in “get your X on” the emphasis is usually on “X.”