My great grandmother had a saying:

Get in, jump in, if you can't get in, throw your money in.

I've never heard anyone else use it but somehow I always had the feeling that she got it from somewhere. Does anyone know anything about it? She used it to mean "let's go!".

1 Answer 1


I've never heard this phrase either. The only instances I could find in Google Books seem to be variations of the phrase you've mentioned.

From The Bulletin, Volumes 8-10, 1903:

It reminds the of a lad I knew in my youth who, on a certain 4th of July, had a lemonade stand in opposition to my own, and he could 'holler' so loud he spoiled my trade and got most of the money; he had only one speech, which he repeated with the celerity of a pump-gun, and it ran about follows: "Ice-cold lemonade made in the shade. 5250 feet below the earth's surface. Roll in! Tumble in! Any way to get in! and if you can't get in throw your money in." Now, your expression of this sentiment was condensed in comparatively a few words, and while not quite as poetical and dramatically announced as the speech of my youthful competitor, you have got him beat forty ways for smoothness and effectiveness. My hat is off to you: [...]

From Every where ..., Volumes 23-24, 1908:

For instance, I am the first one, so far as I know, who ever shouted to a throng: Roll up—tumble up—any way to get up—and if you can't get up, throw your money in[?].

[Snippet view]

Other examples with a similar construction:

From Plain Talk ... [for Port Washington, N.Y.], Volumes 1-2, 1911:

Come and enjoy yourselves - roll in, tumble in, any way you can get in, and roar at the only original thing in minstrel shows.

From the Iowa Journal of History, Volume 42, 1903:

His account described the rally in detail. "At an early hour our streets began to fill up with arrivals from the surrounding country, and look which way you would, you could see the bone and sinew of the country rolling in, in big and little teams, on horseback and on foot; in fact the practice seemed to be, 'roll in, tumble in, any way to get in, only make certain of being on hand in time.'"

From Peck's Uncle Ike and the Red Headed Boy by George W. Peck, 2009:

"Next gentleman, now! Roll up! Tumble up! Any way to get up!"

From the American Bee Journal, Volume 31, 1893:

The escaping capacity of the door not being sufficient. many went out by the windows. It was roll out, tumble out, any way to get out. The wicked said that the deacon of the church put the brim.

From the same journal, page 340:

Now this rolling process struck me most favorably, and I still think if my apiary was only situated on a steep side bill, they would prove decidedly a success -- they could roll down, roll up, tumble up, any way to get up.

In the same context as that of The Bulletin quote above:

All round, before the circus doors were open, the doorkeepers of the side-shows were inviting people to come in and see the giants and fat woman and boa-constrictors, and there were stands for peanuts and candy and lemonade; the vendors cried, "Ice-cold lemonade, from fifteen hundred miles under ground! Walk up, roll up, tumble up, any way to get up!"

(From Delphi Complete Works of William Dean Howells (Illustrated) by William Dean Howells, 2015)

The common phrase seems to be "Roll up[!][,] tumble up[!][,] any way to get up[!]", and the phrase that comes after that can vary/differ. Here's another example:

From Let Them Speak for Themselves: [...], 1849-1900 by Christiane Fischer Dichamp, 1990:

“Roll up, tumble up, any way to get up,
Here's a chance to get your money back.”

[Snippet view]

Your great grandmother must have replaced "Roll in, tumble in, [...]" with "Get in, jump in, [...]".

  • 1
    Thank you, Justin! That sounds likely. She lived her life in Kennedy, TX a little town south of San Antonio, now I just have to wonder where she heard it. Commented Apr 7, 2022 at 16:24

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