"Ax(e) to grind" redux

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Aug 1 04:52:49 UTC 2005

>>>That certainly sounds reasonable. Remember when "uptight" was "up
>>>tight" and also had a positive meaning that was once more widespread
>>>than the negative one?
>>Uptight, outta sight.  Yeah, rings a bell...
>It was "Fingertips, part deux," by Little Stevie Wonder: "Everything is
>all right, up tight and outta sight."
>I'm pretty sure that I know the etymology of "up tight," which explains
>how it happened that the phrase was originally had both positive and
>negative connotations.

And your lips are sealed, are they?


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