Antedatings of "What's up?"

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 18 11:41:23 UTC 2013

"What's up?" (OED 1851, or 1838 for this sense of "up")

1813 David William Paynter in _The History and Adventures of Godfrey
Ranger_ 121  Seeing such a large body of people before him, and being
struck with the incessant moans that issued from every quarter, he made a
sudden stand ; and staring around him with stupid amazement, exclaimed,
"Soul o' my body, what's up here?"

1819 Emily Brodie in _Right About Face; or, Ben the Gordon Boy_ 124  The
child had fainted, and after some minutes, much to Bob's relief, opened her
eyes. " What's up with you, Nell ? " he asked kindly. " I's so tired ;
carry me home, Bob." And so Bob did, wondering greatly what could have come
over his little sister.



The American Dialect Society -

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