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run/go hell for leather informal not polite to run as fast as possible

https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/run-go-hell-for-leather

Any people know why 'leather' stands here?

run(we know it's action moving our legs fast back and forth), hell(it's like 'fuck' a kind of seasoning slang), for(as 'toward' or as 'for the sake of'), and leather (why the noun leather is here)

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  • Hell is not an expletive here, it's just part of the expression. May 24, 2021 at 13:36

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It seems that "leather" in the expression hell-for-leather originally referred to a horse's saddle and tack, as the expression was first used when talking about riding a horse as fast as possible. It first occurs in print in Rudyard Kipling's "The Valley of the Shadow" from 1889:

CAPT. M. (Jealously) Then don’t say it! Leave him alone. It’s not bad enough to croak over. Here, Gaddy, take the chit to Bingle and ride hell-for-leather. It’ll do you good. I can’t go. JUNIOR CHAPLAIN. (Flicking M.’s charger.) That’ll do, thanks. Turn in, Gadsby, and I’ll bring Bingle back–ahem–‘hell-for-leather.’

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