on the wagon


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Related to on the wagon: off the wagon

wag·on

 (wăg′ən)
n.
1. A four-wheeled, usually horse-drawn vehicle with a large rectangular body, used for transporting loads.
2.
a. A light automotive transport or delivery vehicle.
b. A station wagon.
c. A police patrol wagon.
3. A child's low, four-wheeled cart hauled by a long handle that governs the direction of the front wheels.
4. A small table or tray on wheels used for serving drinks or food: a dessert wagon.
5. Wagon The Big Dipper
6. Chiefly British An open railway freight car.
tr. & intr.v. wag·oned, wag·on·ing, wag·ons
To transport or undergo transportation by wagon.
Idioms:
off the wagon Slang
1. No longer abstaining from alcoholic beverages.
2. No longer persevering with some other program requiring self-discipline, such as losing weight or quitting smoking.
on the wagon Slang
1. Abstaining from alcoholic beverages.
2. Persevering with some other program requiring self-discipline, such as losing weight or quitting smoking.

[Middle English waggin, from Middle Dutch wagen; see wegh- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

on the wagon

- Before paved roads, horse-drawn water wagons sprayed the streets to settle the dust, and anyone who had sworn abstinence from alcohol was said to have "climbed aboard the water wagon," later shortened to "on the wagon."
See also related terms for streets.
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