all yo(l)ked up

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Wed May 7 02:04:38 UTC 2014

On 5/6/2014 8:59 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      all yo(l)ked up
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Someone off-list wonders whether the original expression is "(all) yoked up" or "(all) yolked up", usually meaning something like 'ripped', 'muscular, or 'buff'.  (See e.g. urbandictionary.)  Going through web hits, it looks to me as though "yoked" is the original and "yolked" an (appropriately enough) eggcorn, but I can't be sure whether that's the case and, if so, exactly how "yoked up" was derived (from the original oxen, perhaps).  Does anyone know?  No listings in the eggcorn database.  And no relevant OED lemma, which isn't too surprising.  I'd check HDAS, but…

At least some apparently use "yoked" to mean more specifically "having
large trapezius muscles" (one can Google e.g. <<trapezius yoked>>). I
guess the 'traps' (trapezii) have a configuration reminiscent of a yoke.
A plausible etymology, IMHO, but I don't know whether true.

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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