early 14c., from Old French poulser (Modern French pousser), from Latin pulsare "to beat, strike, push," frequentative of pellere (past participle pulsus) "to push, drive, beat" (see pulse (n.1)). Meaning "promote" is from 1714; meaning "approach a certain age" is from 1937. For palatization of -s-, OED compares brush (n.1); quash. Related: Pushed; pushing.
"Pushing up the daisies now," said a soldier of his dead comrade. ["The American Florist," vol. XLVIII, No. 1504, March 31, 1917]To push (someone) around is from 1923. To push (one's) luck is from 1754. To push the envelope in figurative sense is late 1980s. To push up daisies "be dead and buried" is from World War I.
1560s, from push (v.). Phrase push comes to shove is from 1936.
Trouble breaks out; a fearful crisis ensues; things turn nasty; the SHIT HITS THE FAN: We were in good shape until that play, and then the wheels kind of fell off (1990s+)