Date: Mon, 17 Jul 1995 19:47:59 -0500
From: Daniel S Goodman dsg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU
Subject: ? Regionalism: "Put up," "Up" (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 1995 19:45:30 -0400
From:NLGilbert[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]aol.com
To: STUMPERS-LIST[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CRF.CUIS.EDU
Cc: jhunt[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]dhvx20.csudh.edu
Subject: ? Regionalism: "Put up," "Up"
Now that I have moved to the same coast as my parents' home, I am frequently
reminded of a regional phrase in American English. This term is so regional
that I have never heard anyone other than my parents use it. Might anyone in
the wide world of stumpers have encountered it?
The phrase is "put up," sometimes just "up," with approximately the following
To put something up seems to mean to activate a process (often involving a
machine or heat or hot water) that will convert that something to a desired
"Honey, are you going to put up the dishes," i.e. run the dishwasher.
"I'll put up some water for coffee," i.e. put it on the stove to boil.
"Please put up the laundry," i.e. run the washing machine.
Once something has been put up, it is "up" while its process is happening.
Once the process is done, it's no longer up -- it's done.
Samples of "up":
Q: Are the dishes still up?
A: No, they're done.
Q: Is the coffee up?
A: Yes, it should be ready in a few minutes.
Q: Why is the hot water in the shower suddenly running cold?
A: Because the laundry is up.
"Put up" was never used in my family in the sense of, say, putting up pickles
or preserving food. You could, of course, "put up" paintings on the walls.
Any insight or further citations of my family's meaning of "put up" would be
appreciated. I think it came from my mother's mother's family, where the
language would have been Yiddish touched by Russian.
Choral conductor, music historian, and editor
Falls Church, Virginia