"up and ____"

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Wed Oct 5 16:53:01 UTC 2011

I'm thinking of the line from the ballad of "Sir Patrick Spens" as it appeared in Percy's _Reliques_, 1765:  "Up and spak an eldern knicht."  Can't the "up" function simply as an ellipsis of "get/got up"--reduced to its unflectable part?  That's how I would regard present-day "up and ___" constructions (which I commonly use, but I could never inflect the "up"!).


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Arnold Zwicky [zwicky at STANFORD.EDU]
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2011 11:57 AM

On Oct 4, 2011, at 6:56 AM, Charlie Doyle wrote:

> Looking at Google books, I found the (unrelated but interesting) double-inflected phrase "upping and leaving."

double inflection is the standard here; the construction is a coordination (with "up" functioning as a verb), so parallel inflection on the conjuncts is what you'd expect.

MWDEU under _up_ (p. 931)

  2. Some usage books and schoolbooks view the phrase _up and_ with the same distaste they direct at _take and_, _go and_, and _try and_ ... _Up and_ is no bucolic idiom redolent of our frontier past, however; it is current on both sides of the Atlantic, and is used in general publications, often by writers of more than ordinary sophistication. It ... is not highly formal.

[exx with: upped and Vpst, up and Vprs, upped and Vpst, up and Vbse]

OED2 under _up_ v.:

  6. b. colloq. and dial. To start up, come forward, begin abruptly or boldly, to say or do something. Usu. followed by _and_. [cites from mid-19th c. on; *all* exx with parallel inflection in conjuncts]

an example i collected from the Economist:

  These [European masterpieces of art] have been drip-fed into the market ever since, keeping the experts and the point of sale in London.
            But markets, as auction houses and gallery owners like to point out, can up and leave.  Paris's share of the modern-art market has shrivelled since the 1960s.
  ("Suite Anglaise", story in the Economist, 6/24/06, p. 65)

it looks like "up and left" etc. ("My babyfather has up and left my [5-month-old] daughter") is the innovation, but it's pretty widespread.

(surely someone has looked at the construction.)


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