A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 15, 2019
“Go big or go home” (motivational saying)

"Go big or go home” is a motivational saying that has been printed on many images. “In the language of the race-track plunger, the choice there has always been the same: Go big or go home” was printed in the Boston (MA) Traveler on February 25, 1964.

However, “go big or go home” wouldn’t be popular until the 1980s. “Now is the time to either go big or go home” was printed in the Billings (MT) Gazette on April 13, 1980. “Go big or go home” was printed in the Detroit (MI) Free Press on June 1, 1980. “For climbers like Lauchlan, who pushed himself to the limit, the commitment was summed up by the philosophy: ‘Go big or go home’” was printed in The Sun (Vancouver, BC) on March 28, 1985.

“Go hard or go home” is a similar saying.


25 February 1964, Boston (MA) Traveler, “War in Viet Nam Is Already Lost” by Richard Starnes, pg. 32, col. 4:
In the language of the race-track plunger, the choice there has always been the same: Go big or go home.

25 May 1967, Calgary (Alberta) Herald, “Swick Competitor From Old School” by Pat McMahon, pg. 47, col. 5:
“Go big or go home” is his favorite saying. It means give the horse the best of everything it needs, ...

13 April 1980, Billings (MT) Gazette, “Libertarians nail platform” by James DeWolf, pg. 1-B, col. 4:
“The platform is riddled with interim measures,” he (Terry Finch—ed.) charges. “Now is the time to either go big or go home.”

1 June 1980, Detroit (MI) Free Press, “Sundries” by Pol Laffoon IV, Detroit magazine, pg. 2, col. 3:
“The person who writes the great one believes either, ‘Go big or go home,’” he (John MacFarlane, publisher of Saturday Night—ed.) said.

17 July 1982, Calgary (Alberta) Herald, “Everest climb a chess game” by Bruce Patterson, pg. A7, col. 3:
It’s an attitude they shared that Mary summed up by the phrase, “Go big or go home”.

Google Books
The original guide to office pools
By Jamie Wayne
Toronto, ON: Doubleday Canada
1984
Pg. 22: 
Find a derby or a top hat. Don’t skimp. “Go big or go home.”

28 March 1985, The Sun (Vancouver, BC), “Everest waits for the lady” by Bruce Patterson, pg. B1, col. 1:
For climbers like Lauchlan, who pushed himself to the limit, the commitment was summed up by the philosophy: “Go big or go home.”

26 December 1986, Windsor (ON) Star, “Reflecting on Christmas past and the man who loved to give” by Carl Morgan, pg. A13:
“What do you mean, three columns by five inches! . . .”

“Listen, Bill, I thought you were serious about this thing. No, no Bill, nothing less than half a page.

“Listen Bill, my advice to you is GO BIG OR GO HOME, that’s all there is to it . . .”

July 1987, London Business Monthly Magazine (London, UK), “The Boys of Summer” by Jason Ainslie, pg. 14:
Promoters rely on the think-big attitude that barely distinguishes their events from showmanship. For Patterson, “go big or go home” was a guiding tenet as he went to work on his project more than a year before ribs would ever hit the grill.

15 February 1988, “A ski hill that grew up” by Dan Giesin, pg. E1, col. 4:
Following the premise of “go big or go home”. Incline last summer doubled its acreage and its “vertical” by putting up a single lift—the Diamond Peak quad chair.

OCLC WorldCat record
Go big or go home : branding; Rubbing out racism : marketing and advertising
Author: T Keenan
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Finance week, v3 n2 (Jul 20 2001):60
Summary:
Reports on the following in the marketing and advertising industry: how bigger advertising agencies are now offering diverse services to their clients; the outcome of a discussion held by the Western Cape branch of the Advertising and Marketing Association of South Africa on allegations of racism in media and advertising

Urban Dictionary
go big or go home
an expression the speaker says to the listener to encourage the listener to be extravagant, to go all the way, and do whatever you are doing to its fullest - and not flake out.
it can be abbreviated: gbgh!
You gotta go big or go home!
I can’t wait to GBGH with y’all this weekend!

#carpe diem#party hard#if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen#rock hard#encourage
by signe c. October 29, 2006

Twitter
Michael Smith
@SmittyYYC
I’m always saying “Go big or Go home” ... except for today, because I’m going to my in-laws.  Believe me, that’s going nowhere.
2:48 PM - 8 Apr 2007

OCLC WorldCat record
Go big or go home
Author: Will Hobbs
Publisher: New York : Scholastic, 2009, c 2008.
Edition/Format: Print book : Elementary and junior high school : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Fourteen-year-old Brady and his cousin Quinn love extreme sports, but nothing could prepare them for the aftermath of Brady’s close encounter with a meteorite after it crashes into his Black Hills, South Dakota, bedroom.

OCLC WorldCat record
Go big or go home
Author: Scotty McCreery; Travis Thrasher
Publisher: [Grand Rapids, Michigan] : Zondervan, [2016]
Series: Zondervan on BrillianceAudio.
Edition/Format: Audiobook on CD : CD audio : MP3 : Biography : English : Unabridged
Summary:
The “American Idol” contestant describes his life and career as a country music star.

Twitter
Fresno Pacific Univ.
@fpu
If you haven’t heard already, one of our very own alumni - Nick Chandler - is premiering the pilot episode of his new HGTV show Go Big or Go Home! Check it out this Saturday and show support for our fellow Sunbird. 🏡💙
8:00 PM - 15 May 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Wednesday, May 15, 2019 • Permalink