manning up!

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Sep 7 21:27:07 UTC 2010

On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 4:16 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 3:29 PM, Evan Morris wrote:
>> Last night's season premiere of the TV show "Hoarders" (A&E) highlighted
>> a moment when a distraught daughter, in the course of an emotional
>> tirade, ordered her demented mother (in her 70s, I'd say) to "Man up!"
>> and start throwing stuff away.
> My recent post on the "Re: Bad Girls Speak" thread includes a quote from an
> African-American stripper, age about 22, encouraging herself to "man up!"

One of the many examples I didn't have room for in the column was this
one from Serena Williams, after beating Justine Henin in the
Australian Open last January: "She was playing well, but I knew I
could play better so I literally told myself, ‘I need to man up.’”

A few readers have emailed to say that it's commonly used in various
women's sports, such as soccer.


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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