Bethany K. Dumas dumasb at UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU
Sat Jul 10 22:13:56 UTC 2004

On another list, we have been discussing these variants:

then he up and died
then he upped and died

Someone else wrote the latter. I had never heard/seen that, and I
commented. Clearly, individuals vary. "Upped" appears to be older. What is
really interesting is that I would expect inflection in, say, the
historical present, as in narratives, thus:

then he ups and dies


then he up and dies.

But I am startled by it in the past. The OED has 16th c. citations with
died and also other verbs (fled, tupped) and also narrative instances in
this entry for up as a v:

b. colloq. and dial. To start up, come forward, begin abruptly or
to say or do something. Usu. followed by and. Cf. UP adv.1 33.
ÊÊ(a) 1831 S. LOVER Leg. 82 The bishop ups and he tells him that he must
mend his manners. 1865 DICKENS Mut. Fr. IV. xiii, Then we both of us ups
and says, that minute, ÔProve so!Õ 1867- in general dialect use (Eng.
Dial. Dict.). 1879 R. BROWNING Ned Bratts 125 She ups with such a face,
Heart sunk inside me: ÔWell, pad on my prate-apace!Õ
ÊÊ(b) 1883 STEVENSON Treas. Isl. xxix, And you have the Davy Jones's
insolence to up and stand for cap'n over me! 1884 ÔMARK TWAINÕ Huck. Finn
xxv, All of a sudden the doctor ups and turns on them. He says: [etc.].
1898 ÔH. S. MERRIMANÕ Roden's Corner xxvii, A gesture that
served..to..invite the Frenchman to up and smite him. 1935 E. E. CUMMINGS
Let. 31 Jan. (1969) 135 And he ups and hands Am [Eimi] such a boost as
would knock Karl Marx's whiskers out of Benjamin G. Woozeythought's
cabinet d'aisance. 1958 ÔA. GILBERTÕ Death against Clock 81 So you upped
and fled. 1961 O. NASH Coll. Verse 33 One of these days not too remote
I'll probably up and cut your throat. 1973 Black World Jan. 62/1 It did no
good. I upped and died. 1979 J. RATHBONE Joseph I. i. 20 As soon as we
could we upped and fled.

What do you say? Expect to hear? (Spellcheck did not object to upped.)


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