Glossary Home Idioms

Get something out of your system

“Get something out of your system” is used when someone wants to reveal something or get something off their mind that is bothering them. It could also be applied when someone needs to do something. 

This is a common idiom that’s used in various English-speaking countries and even exists in other languages. “Get something out of your system” is easy to use in a wide variety of conversations. It could be used when you’re about to start an argument or are about to reveal something you’ve been dwelling on for a long time.

get something out of your system

“Get something out of your system” Meaning

“Get something out of your system” is used when someone wants to express a need to relieve pressure, get something over with, or fulfill a pressing need.

The “something” could be anything from a desire to eat, run, play a game, or get out a frustration one has with a boss. It’s often used when someone wants to air a grievance. They need to get certain words or thoughts out of their “system” or mind after one should feel better and as though they can continue with their lives. 


The origins of “get something out of your system” are unknown. It, like most idioms and some proverbs, likely originated sometime in the 18th century and changed as the decades progressed and language changed. This is often the case as words fall in and out of favor with the general public. Phrases like this are even liable to evolve further. 

When to Use “Get something out of your system” 

It’s possible to use “get something out of your system” in a wide range of situations. One might use it with friends, family members, close colleagues, and more. There are endless example scenarios one might cite. For example, one friend might use it before they tell another something that’s bothering them. They might say, “Look, I have to get something out of my system. You aren’t a good friend.” They felt like they needed to say something and finally got it out. 

In another situation, one might use it when they want to do something. For instance, “I have to go on a run. I need to get these jitters out of my system.” It can preface something good happening or something that might be interpreted as negative or bad. 

Example Sentences

  • You better just get it out of your system or you’re going to explode. 
  • She went to the gym to get the frustrations out of her system. 
  • I feel like I got my rebellious streak out of my system early. 
  • I don’t want this to come across wrong, but I have to get it out of my system. 
  • Are you willing to listen? I need to get something out of system? 

Why Do Writers Use the Idiom?

Writers use “get something out of your system” in the same way and for the same reasons that people use the phrase in everyday life. It’s possible to find it incorporated into a dialogue between two or more characters. One might also take note of it within a narrator’s description of a scene. They might say that someone acted out in order to “get something out of their system” and that now they’re going to behave. Or, in another situation, a writer might have one character use the phrase as a warning. For example, one character says, “Look, I have to get this out of my system, so brace yourself.” This might result in a deeper conversation or an argument. It might even devolve into a fistfight or worse. 


get something out of your system?” 

People use “get something out of your system” when they want to express their need, or someone else’s, to share something or do something pressing. After it’s out of one’s system, they should feel better. 

What are the origins of “get something out of your system?”

It’s unknown where precisely this phrase came from. But, it’s likely that it evolved naturally over time and came into everyday use in the 1900s. 

How can you get something out of your system?

You can get something out of your system by saying exactly what you’re thinking and making sure that you and the person you’re talking to are on the same page. 

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