To risk it all, even if it means losing everything; going all out.
If you're playing a board game with friends, and one of them chooses to take a huge risk that may or may not pay off in the end, that desperation can be described by the phrase "going for broke."
Have you ever heard someone say: "I'm broke!" They are not talking about their arms or legs, but instead are referring to their lack of money! On that note, why would someone want to "go for broke," as the idiom entails? I'm pretty sure most people would want to go in the opposite direction!
Well, various sources claim that the source of this saying is rooted in gambling. Wikitionary, for instance, says the idiom comes from "Hawaiian Pidgin craps slang," where the participating players would wager everything on a single roll. Thus, the players were going for broke in the sense that they were putting everything on the line, win or lose, based on that one roll.
Additionally, there was a part of the United States army known as the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. They fought during World War II in Eurpose at the beginning of 1944, and their motto was to "Go for Broke."
knowyourphrase.com - Meanings and Origins of Phrases
Note: The definitions for sayings can be found with ease, but finding the origins of phrases proves far more challenging. Looking back through history, it's tough to find the place or person in which a phrase has its roots. We are limited to what can be found in writings, such as books, poems, newspapers, and plays. Often times, phrases will be quoted from century old newspapers, or from plays that were done in the 17th century by playwrights like William Shakespeare.
The phrases that are quoted are likely already commonly known, and have their origins elsewhere. For instance, just because an idiom shows up in a newspaper from 1850, does not mean the idiom originated from that newspaper. However, what that does tell you, is that the phrase was being used since 1850, so its origins are at least more than 150 years old.
* Jacob decided to go for broke by investing the entirety of his monopoloy money in hotels over his most expensive spaces. The move didn't work, however, as I rolled right on his property and won the game!
* Whenever I'm playing a racing video game and I'm falling behind, I'll go for broke and take riskier moves than I normally would in an attempt to catch up to the pack in front.
Looking for more idiom definitions? Find your favorite sayings using this phrases list, and learn their meanings!