Hell-bent for leather?

Have you ever heard someone say that they are hell-bent on doing something? Did you understand they meant they were very determined, but didn’t really know what the phrase literally means?

This saying has been has been popular since the early 19th century and describes someone who is prepared to go “to the gates of hell” to achieve their purpose.

Going hell for leather, comes from the idea of riding very hard, the leather referring to either the horse’s saddle or the rider’s crop.

The first recorded use of  hell for leather was in a story written in 1889 by Rudyard Kipling, who probably either invented the phrase or picked it up from British Army troops in India.

The phrase is thought to refer to the wear and tear inflicted on the saddle by strenuous riding, or to the reckless nature of a ride and the overuse of the crop.