The origin of the phrase is uncertain. But a fable in William Cowper's The love of the World : Hypocrisy Detected 0779) is some times mentioned. Certain Muslims, forbidden to eat pork by their religion but tempted to indulge in some maintained that Muhammad had had in mind only one particular part of the animal. They could not agree which part that was and as for one piece they thought it hard From the whole hog to be debarred - between them they ate the whole animal, each salving his conscience by telling himself that his own particular portion was not the one that had been forbidden. Go the whole hog is recorded as a political expression in the USA in the early 19th century. An 1835 source maintains that it originated in Virginia marking the democrat from a federalist.
RELATED IDIOMS :
all systems go
everything functioning properly ready to proceed.
be all go
be very busy or active – informal
from go to whoa
from start to finish
from the word go
from the very beginning – informal
1997 - Bridget O'Connor - Tell Her You Love Her Mr. Parker was in love with me almost from the word go.
Become violently excited. – Informal
Originally mid 20th-century North American slang - This expression possibly refers to the 1933 movie King Kong which stars a giant ape-like monster.
go as you please
untrammeled or free
1998 - Canal Boat and Inland Waterways - Enjoy a go-as-you-please cruise aboard one of our all weather self drive luxury day boats.
fly into a rage – informal
1998 - New Scientist - The French nuclear industry, local authorities around La Hague and some government agencies went ballistic. Viel was fiercely condemned for his findings.
go bananasbecome extremely angry or excited
go mad – informal 1992 - Jim Lehrer - A Bus of My Own – I predicted John Erlichman would probably go bananas when he testified the next day.
go down with guns firing = go down with all guns firing
fail or be beaten, but continue to offer resistance until the end.
said to express the speaker's belief that something is inexplicable – North American informal
1999 – Massive - In the last election, the Tories got 19 per cent of the votes in Scotland and have no MPs there at all, while the Lib Dems got 13 per cent and have 10 MPs. Go figure.
go great guns
perform forcefully, vigorously or successfully - informal
1913 - Field - A moment later Louvois shot out, passed Sanquhar and Fairy King, and going great guns... beat the favourite by a head.
go shares = go halves
share something equally
go it = go to it
act in a vigorous, energetic or dissipated way - British informal
1995 - Times - While there is time, become an activist, disrupt political meetings. Go to it.
go mad, especially from stress - US informal
This expression arose as a result of several recorded cases in the USA in which postal-service employees ran amok and shot colleagues.
1999 - New Yorker - A man two seats away went postal when the battery on his cell phone gave out. A heavyset passenger had to sit on the man until the train finally pulled into Grand Central.
go the way of all flesh
die or come to an end
In the Authorized Version of the Bible all flesh is used to refer to all human and animal life.
used to express good wishes to someone leaving - South African
have a go
make an attempt
take independent or single-handed action against a criminal or criminals
have a go at
attack or criticize someone - chiefly British
make a go of
be successful in something – informal
An Australian and New Zealand variant of this expression is make a do of it which dates from the early 20th century.
1987 - Evelyn E. Smith - Miss Melville Returns - He'd been unable to make a go of life in the city and so he'd returned to the small New England village he came from.
on the go
very active or busy – informal
(of food or drink from a restaurant or cafe) to be eaten or drunk off the premises - North American