gin up

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Nov 5 14:46:14 UTC 2002

>I've heard "gin up" several times this election cycle, the last time from a
>WSJ reporter on CNBC.  DARE has a 1970 cite "I'll see if I can gin up this
>meeting" with the same sense of "To stir up, get (something) going"-- is
>this an attempt to sound folksy, a genuine revival or what?

Something like this was discussed here in March 2001 (topic "gen up"). I
expressed myself at excessive length on 6 March 2001.

I think it's an attempt to sound folksy or "hip". My best guess is that
he's basically/etymologically referring to stimulating a horse by putting
ginger in its rectum. There is confusion perhaps with another verb "gin"
which is probably from "engineer" or so. The distinction in principle would
be made by experimentally replacing "gin up" with (1) "stimulate" or
"enliven" (implying "gin[ger] up") and with (2) "prepare" or "marshal"
(implying something like "[en]gin[eer]" or perhaps "gen[erate]").

At least that's my naive impression.

-- Doug Wilson

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