What Does To Buzz Along Mean?

To Buzz Along Meaning

Definition: To move quickly and steadily; to depart.

This is an informal expression that means to move without changing pace and without stopping. It usually refers to vehicles and other kinds of machinery, but it may also allude to the energy of a place that is lively and bustling.

It can also be said when leaving a place—usually an informal setting like a friend’s house, not a formal one like a job—as a farewell; instead of “I’ve got to go now,” one might say, “I’ve got to buzz along.”

Origin of To Buzz Along

When machinery is working correctly, it often produces a low buzzing sound. If you can hear a steady buzz, you would say that the machinery is buzzing along and working fine.

This is especially true of cars and motorcycles, and the earliest uses of buzz along were connected with these vehicles.

For example, in Goodwin’s Weekly: A Thinking Paper for Thinking People from July 1910, we can read

  • …and nightly the motors buzz merrily along the moonlit lanes that radiate from the club.

And in The West Virginian from December 1915, it says,

  • We are buzzing along at a merry pace—engine going smoothly—getting somewhere.

Examples of To Buzz Along

Meaning of buzz along In the modern day, people say buzz along about anything that is moving steadily.

For example, one might say,

  • Traffic was buzzing along when the snowstorm hit and stopped all movement.

-or-

  • The lawnmower was buzzing along until she hit a stick and it stopped suddenly.

If the energy of a place is steady and bustling, one could say,

  • The workplace buzzed along from 9-5, with only a break for lunch.

Alternatively, when leaving a place (usually a friend’s home), someone might say,

  • Well, I’ve got to buzz along. Thanks for the food; I’ll stop by again sometime!

More Examples

  • This is lightly strummed folksy rock, sure, and it feels as genial as tea-time — synths lay low, buzzing along for the ride, and a plucky bass carries the melody. –Los Angeles Times
  • It may be a mindless sanctuary, but HGTV has proven utterly invaluable when I’ve needed some kind of mental break, to be reassured of the commonality of basic commerce and rehabilitation, of life buzzing along like normal under darkening skies. –Vanity Fair

Summary

To buzz along means to move at a steady pace without stopping or to leave a place after dropping by for a short visit.

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