Wilson Gray hwgray at EARTHLINK.NET
Mon Jul 12 19:49:51 UTC 2004

On Jul 10, 2004, at 6:13 PM, Bethany K. Dumas wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Bethany K. Dumas" <dumasb at UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU>
> Subject:      upped/up?
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> 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
> not
> 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
> boldly,
> to say or do something. Usu. followed by and. Cf. UP adv.1 33.
> Ê
> 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
> 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.
> 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.)
> Bethany

"Upped and died" is what works for me.

Reminds of a debate among us GI's back in the early 'Sixties as to
whether (a) "Smith is re-upping" or (b) "Smith is reing-up" was
"correct." For me, (a) was so clearly the proper form that I could not
believe that there were people who felt exactly as strongly that (b)
had to be the proper form. But there were.

-Wilson Gray

More information about the Ads-l mailing list