Learn English – “Go, Yankees!”, “Go, Tigers!”, etc. — go where

etymologyphrases

It's common to hear cheers of the form "“Go X!” where X is the name of a team or individual. I understand that its meaning is, as nohat said in another thread,

“Go ___!” is a common exclamation intended to express approval and encouragement to a team or an individual.

My question is: does this phrase have an etymology? The sense of "go" as used in this template does not seem to be used anywhere else. For instance, we cannot report this exclamation as "he asked his team to go". Does the phrase originate in some archaic sense of go, in some larger phrase (like "Go and win") or is it of unknown origin?

Edit: If I'm not mistaken, the phrase can be used not only for sports like football that involve physically moving towards a goal, but also sports like baseball and even chess or (competitive) programming, which mostly involve sitting in one location.

Best Answer

Was it used in races before it became a general expression of encouragement? If so, it would explain the origin.