Slow your roll is a colloquial slang expression, urging someone not to get too excited, or too ahead of themselves; to maintain a level head.
It can be used both literally, telling someone not to rush things and figuratively, advising them not to get too carried away by their emotions.
While the exact origin of “slow your roll” is unknown, there are several prominent hypotheses on the roots of the phrase.
One of these states that the expression comes from the times of slavery, when slaves who were too quick compared to the rest of the group were called out upon with “slow your row!”.
Another hypothesis indicates that the phrase comes from 1920’s truck driver slang, literally calling out someone to slow down, otherwise their truck will not be able to stop or maneuver properly.
While none of these are proven, the first documented case of “slow your roll” did emerge in the 1920’s, according to Google’s Ngram Viewer.
“Slow your roll” has been in use colloquially for the better half of the century now, gaining bigger traction after the 1960’s.
The phrase became the slogan of the soda company Drank and also appeared as the title of songs by artists such as Barry White, D12 and Dizzee Rascal.