Catch someone up

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 12 19:17:32 UTC 2006


At 1:55 PM -0500 12/12/06, hpst at earthlink.net wrote:
>Scot,
>
>To wake up.

The OED entry notes helpfully that this sense
('to arouse by knocking at the door') is not
current in the U.S.; presumably the others ('tire
out', 'break down', become exhausted', 'destroy',
'prepare (food) hastily', etc.) are less likely
to be misinterpreted (given considerations of
context and register), so less subject to
taboo/homonymy avoidance.  As for the U.S. slang
use, entry 18j, it's attested since 1813, with a
particularly revolting cite from Davy Crockett
(1836), and a reference to the pernicious
ambiguity from an 1860 slang dictionary, which
notes the danger that "Englishmen often
unconsciously commit themselves when amongst our
Yankee cousins".

LH

>
>Youi do know the most famous triple pregancy in history.
>
>It was early in April in the year '83 that I woke one morning to find
>Sherlock Holmes standing, fully dressed, by the side of my bed. He was a
>late riser, as a rule, and as the clock on the mantelpiece showed me that
>it was only a quarter-past seven, I blinked up at him in some surprise, and
>perhaps just a little resentment, for I was myself regular in my habits.
>
>"Very sorry to knock you up, Watson," said he, "but it's the common lot
>this morning. Mrs. Hudson has been knocked up, she retorted upon me, and I
>on you."
>
>The Adventure of the Speckled Band
>
>Page Stephens
>
>
>>  [Original Message]
>>  From: Scot LaFaive <spiderrmonkey at HOTMAIL.COM>
>>  To: <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Date: 12/12/2006 1:09:53 PM
>>  Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Catch someone up
>>
>>  I would also say this is a normal usage for me to hear, though I rarely
>>  would say. I'm more interested in hearing what "knock you up" means in the
>>  UK.
>>
>>  Scot
>>
>>
>>  >From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>  >Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  >To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>>  >Subject: Re: Catch someone up
>>  >Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2006 11:10:33 -0500
>>  >
>>  >---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  >-----------------------
>>  >Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  >Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>  >Subject:      Re: Catch someone up
>>
>>---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>----
>>  >
>>  >At 7:41 AM -0800 12/12/06, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
>>  > >On Dec 12, 2006, at 6:59 AM, neil  crawford wrote:
>>  > >
>>  > >>I'm aware of losing teams playing catch-up rugby when they have to
>>  > >>be more
>>  > >>expansive and risk-taking.
>>  > >>
>>  > >>I'm also familiar with meeting someone to catch up on the latest news.
>>  > >>
>>  > >>But the following use is new to me. Is it a recent formulation?
>>  > >>
>>  > >>"And Jim? How is he?"
>>  > >>
>>  > >>"He's the best. He's wonderful, Alex." [...]
>>  > >>
>>  > >>"You'll catch me up on what he's doing."
>>  > >
>>  > >sounds perfectly ordinary to me, and i get 28,200 raw google webhits
>>  > >for "catch me up on".
>>  > >
>>  > >at least a few of these are from the UK, but it's possible that the
>>  > >construction is more common in the US.
>>  > >
>>  > >(there is, of course, a well-known UK/US difference in "catch up"
>>  > >expressions, the possibility of "catch you up" meaning 'catch up with
>>  > >you' in the UK, but not the US.  but that's a different construction.)
>>  > >
>>  > >arnold
>>  > >
>>  >...although still not quite as significant as the different
>>  >interpretations of "knock you up" on alternate sides of the Pond.
>>  >
>>  >LH
>>  >
>>  >------------------------------------------------------------
>>  >The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>>  _________________________________________________________________
>>  View AthleteĆ­s Collections with Live Search
>>
>http://sportmaps.live.com/index.html?source=hmemailtaglinenov06&FORM=MGAC01
>>
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
>------------------------------------------------------------
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org



More information about the Ads-l mailing list