Hitting Pay Dirt

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I was reading the New York Times this morning about the 100th anniversary of the Chevrolet automobile. The article celebrated the history of the car in great detail. They used an idiomatic expression, strike pay dirt, to highlight a very successful Chevrolet advertising campaign which resulted in great sales and revenue for the company.

Originating from a mining phrase, hitting pay dirt is when the ground is rich enough in minerals or metal (ore, such as gold) to be worth mining, or collecting. In everyday English, to strike or hit pay dirt is to discover something of value, to succeed, or to get great riches.

Example: Alfredo really hit pay dirt with his third novel.

From the NY Times: After years of unmemorable advertising slogans ... the brand struck pay dirt with the theme “See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet.”

photo courtesy of americanclassicars.com

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