What does this sentence "kick some a**, take names" mean?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Like many idiomatic expressions, I think that it it is difficult to find the exact location of the phrase's origin.  The phrase, "Kick some a**, take names," reflects a gradual and progressive ascent to success.  For example, when an athletic team wins continual games, one after another, it can be said that the team is out there to "kick some a**, and take names."  The vanquishing of one's foes represents the "kick some a**," while the growing list of conquests reflects the aspect of "taking names."  I first became familiar with the phrase from a 1987 film, "Wall Street."  The protagonist, Bud Fox, starts to become more and more successful, through dubious means.  In the film, when he is being moved to a corner office as compensation for the level of success he reached, someone congratulates him for his recent bout of good fortune.  Fox looks at him and says, "Just kickin' a** and taking names."  Bud Fox represents and typifies the type of person who would use the idiomatic expression.

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