Off topic: The word UP
Thread poster: Amy Duncan
Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:27
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Jun 24, 2007

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is "UP."

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends and we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir up trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special. And this up is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comesout we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

One could go on & on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so
....

Time to shut UP .....!


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Beatriz Galiano
Argentina
Local time: 21:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree Jun 24, 2007

As a native speaker of Spanish, I never used up much, except when necessary. But once, thanks to that two letter word I discovered someone had lied, as according to her I had use a verb followed with 'up' (something I never do) I generally use the latin versions that are much easier. So I did not sa '------- up' just because I generally do not use those phrasal verbs or idioms.

So, you see how important that two letter word is !! It has a lot of meaning of its own.


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Beatriz Galiano
Argentina
Local time: 21:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
xxxxx Jun 24, 2007

I wrote'had used' and did not 'say' but when submitting the post they were miswritten.

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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:27
German to English
+ ...
More UPs Jun 25, 2007

You can, of course, eat up and drink up.
(drink up = get it down you, in other words, you have to up-end your glass)

Then you can be up-tight or up-market.
Anyone for a bit of one-upmanship?
That means you're on the up and up.
Up with the best of them.
Hope your computer is up and running.
But what are you up against?
Cheer up.

I think I'll just up sticks and get some work done.


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Henrik Pipoyan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:27
Member (2004)
English to Armenian
Bottoms UP Jun 25, 2007

Once, my fellow translator interpreted it literally at a wedding. A long and tense silence followed... Since then I know, no matter how many meanings "bottom" or "up" have, when they're together, they have one single translation, otherwise you won't escape serious problems or even injuries.

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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:27
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
When things break DOWN Jun 25, 2007

Victor Dewsbery wrote:

You can, of course, eat up and drink up.
(drink up = get it down you, in other words, you have to up-end your glass)

Then you can be up-tight or up-market.
Anyone for a bit of one-upmanship?
That means you're on the up and up.
Up with the best of them.
Hope your computer is up and running.
But what are you up against?
Cheer up.

I think I'll just up sticks and get some work done.


And then, when your computer breaks DOWN, your working day is completely messed UP (or other less elegant expressions - all f****d up, all b******d up, and so on). Perhaps it's now time for me to shut up before everyone gets up in arms.
Regards,
Jenny.


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