It is said by many that the English language is very difficult to learn because of multiple meanings, nuances and slang. Example: The buck private paid a buck to watch a buck buck a cowboy off trying to buck public opinion by passing the buck and hiding his buck teeth. As he was riding in the hack he considered how easy it would be to hack through the jungle while trying to hack up something he had eaten as he mentally prepared the hack to improve the computer program he was developing to hack into the IRS records.
I have written about up before. When we say roll up your tent and put it up, do we mean clean it up and then put it up? We say sign up here, step up and tell your story, we wait for the yard to green up in the spring, we fire up, get a leg up on the competition and get all choked up. We rev up the engine, leave it up to someone else, fight and then make up and then apply makeup to our black eye, trade up, build up, we wait to grow up so we can dress up and date someone whom we stick up for when others may criticize and often we have to ‘fess up’ when we are wrong.
When a crook is hiding we say he is holed up somewhere and we hole up to ride out a storm. Some people are stuck up.
We say that a car has pulled up to the door. We encourage people to save up their money to purchase a house. Children are instructed to chew up their food to aid in digestion and we use a food processor to grind up our food to aid the chewing up of the food. Merchants mark up prices and we turn up the volume on our radios. When things are bad but beginning to improve we say things are looking up. When we become ill we throw up.
When our vehicles are not operating properly we have them tuned up. If it takes too long we say that the time is up. BW is well known for doctoring up recipes to make them better. A student asks the teacher how to spell a word and the teacher says, “Look it up.” Students are encouraged to count up to 100. If they try to please the teacher too much we say they are sucking up.
Guys approach girls to finagle them into spending time together and they use their favorite pick up lines. Then the girls and guys dress up to go on dates. Well, they used to. When they drive a pickup truck on their date they buckle up for safety. They come home and hang up their clothes in the closet only after hanging up the phone from talking to the very person they were hanging out with. The dating scene does not seem to have the hang ups that existed in the 60s. If one gets dumped, we say suck it up and move on. I am now officially over up. I think.
My website Larryvandeventer.com - Read about me, my books, and my columns. Larry Vandeventer grew up North of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State U. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.