Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Fri Dec 17 02:53:48 UTC 2004

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
> Of Joyce, Thomas F.
> Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 9:30 AM
> Subject: Uparmoring
> "Uparmor" as a verb meaning "to upgrade [one's] armor" has started to be
> used within the last year or so.  Are there any other recent examples of
> new verbs based on the prefix "up-" that carry the meaning of enhancing,
> improving, securing an advantage, etc.?  The OED attestations for
> "upgrade" and "upstage" suggest they are 20th century verbs.  One can
> find much older formations for many other verbs, including obsolete
> ones.  Is "uparmor" just the most recent application of the prefix, or
> is something else going on (e.g., a bad neologism) that just
> superficially resembles "upstage," etc.  Note that with other verbs, a
> noun (upgrade) or adverb (upstage) seems to have been attested long
> before the verb.

This is pretty standard army jargon. Halfway through my army tour in Germany
(ca. 1987), my unit, an artillery battalion, was "upgunned." We went from
three batteries of four guns (2 x 4) each to three batteries of two platoons
each with three guns a piece (6 x 3).

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