What’s the origin of the phrase “hell bent for leather?”

Ted Holland
Cornelius, North Carolina

“Hell bent for leather” is a term that refers to the act of embarking impulsively with little regard for the consequences. It’s believed to be a mash-up of two popular 19th-century terms: “Hell bent,” which indicated fierce determination for some reckless cause, and “Hell for leather,” which refers to riding horseback at breakneck speed.

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