Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When was it first used and in what context?

share|improve this question
Tom Corbett, Space Cadet –  John Lawler Jul 2 '13 at 22:09
@John: Exactly my first thought! Well, not specifically Tom Corbett, but it certainly looks to me like the kind of "future slang" you got in sci-fi from people like Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov many decades ago. Apparently we are now actually in that future, but it already sounds horribly "dated" to me. –  FumbleFingers Jul 2 '13 at 22:16
The future is always disappointing when it arrives. –  John Lawler Jul 2 '13 at 22:23
@JohnLawler “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” ——William Gibson –  tchrist Jul 2 '13 at 22:32
Welcome Katelyn! What does your research show? Please provide it in your question so the community can benefit from it and not repeat what you've already done. :-) –  Kristina Lopez Jul 2 '13 at 22:38

2 Answers 2

The OED says the phrase "cool your jets", meaning to calm down or become less agitated, is originally US and the first quoted in a newspaper:

1973 Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids) 29 Jan. 1/1 If you want to cool your jets, just step outside, where it will be about 10 degrees under cloudy skies.

That use is to literally cool yourself down. The first with the usual meaning is a bit later the same year:

1973 Independent Rec. (Helena, Montana) 21 Oct. 4/3 Nixon may be able to stifle Congress but he better cool his jets if he thinks he can mess with the rest of the world.

share|improve this answer

I thought it might be a military term like for pilots or maybe its meaning is it's so cold you can cancel a jet engine heat, like the afterburner on a fighter plane

share|improve this answer
Can you provide a citation? Otherwise, this seems like idle speculation. –  choster Dec 12 '13 at 15:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.