One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: (of a race, especially a walking race) freestyle. Later more generally: unconstrained by rules or conventions as to how to proceed; free-and-easy.
Originally US. A go-as-you-please race; (later more generally) a free-for-all.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in York Herald. From the imperative of go + as + you + please.
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