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Get Off on the Wrong Foot: Origin and Meaning

To get off on the wrong foot (or start off on the wrong foot) means to begin a relationship or project badly.
get off on the wrong footThere are two possible origins of this idiom. Many people believe that it originated in the military. When soldiers march they need to always stay ‘in step’ with each other and in order to do this, they need to start marching with the same foot. If a soldier starts off on the ‘wrong’ foot, he will be out of step with everyone else. Others believe the phrase started being used due to the superstition that when getting out of bed, it is unlucky to put your left foot on the floor first.
“Tim’s doing really well in his new job. He didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot so he’s been going in early and coming home late every day. I’m so proud of him.”

“I really don’t want us to get off on the wrong foot so let’s be honest with each other from the start.”

Jeff: “I hope Robert’s not coming to the party tonight – he was so rude to me last time we met.”
Lucy: “Robert’s a really nice guy actually. You both just got off on the wrong foot when you met. I wish you’d give him another chance.”
Jeff: “OK, but this is the last time.”
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