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#115820 - 11/13/03 08:11 AM Nunberg's on the up and up
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
What does "on the up and up" mean to you? It means only one thing to me, but as my favorite contemporary linguist pointed out on Wednesday's NPR "Fresh Air" program, it has two distinct meanings, unencumbered by national, georgraphic, or other pattern explanations. He mentions some other words and expressions, too.


http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~nunberg/upandup.html

Also, I wonder which discussion board he's referring to here?

"Out of curiosity, I sent a question about the item to a discussion group that's peopled by dialectologists and other devotees of word-lore."

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#115821 - 11/13/03 11:00 AM Re: Nunberg's on the up and up
dxb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/06/02
Posts: 1692
Loc: UK
To me, 'on the up and up' would mean legitimate, above board, not an under the counter deal, etc.

"Honest, Guv, it's on the up and up, real Kosher stuff," as we Hollywood Brits say.


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#115822 - 11/13/03 04:20 PM Re: Nunberg's on the up and up
AnnaStrophic Offline
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Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
That's what it means to me, too, dixbie. But try googling it, as Nunberg suggested. What about the rest of y'all, what does the term mean to you?


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#115823 - 11/13/03 04:39 PM Re: Nunberg's on the up and up
sjmaxq Offline
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Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 3230
Loc: Te Ika a Maui
I'm for the honest, above-board definition.

_________________________
noho ora mai
http://maxqnzs.com/References.html

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#115824 - 11/13/03 06:57 PM Re: Nunberg's on the up and up
maahey Offline
addict

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
First vote for the 'on the rise' meaning. My experience with this is similar to the Californian wife in the report; I didn't even *know the other meaning.!! (scratching head bemusedly)somebody had better post quickly in agreement with this; am feeling mighty strange already what with being rather alone in imagining dead pirates, killed by falling coconut trees and all.
As for the others:
Heartburn - anxious/stressful

deceptively shallow - oh! *definitely to mean, that the pool is deeper than you suppose.

Nice read, AnnaS. Thanks

Edit:
One quick note on Heartburn. This one is an old friend from the days that I used to read almost everything that came out of the stable of Indian authors writing in English. I believe it was Midnight's Children that first prompted it (I could be wrong here) but heartburn is used frquently by this group to indicate jealous sentiment. I later found out that this was an almost literal translation from the Hindi/Urdu. It might have an entry in Hobson-Jobson.





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#115825 - 11/13/03 07:06 PM Re: Nunberg's on the up and up
sjmaxq Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 3230
Loc: Te Ika a Maui
Well, I'm with you on "deceptively shallow", at any rate, and had at least heard the "on the rise" meaning of "up and up"

_________________________
noho ora mai
http://maxqnzs.com/References.html

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#115826 - 11/13/03 07:11 PM Re: Nunberg's on the up and up
maahey Offline
addict

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 555
Thank you Max!


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#115827 - 11/13/03 07:34 PM Re: Nunberg's on the up and up
Zed Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/27/02
Posts: 2154
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
I would read it as honest, or in some contexts as an awkward version of going up and up. I've never heard it to mean deceptively shallow or deceptively anything else either.


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#115828 - 11/14/03 12:24 AM Re: Nunberg's on the up and up
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
On the up and up -- rising, but generally with an implication of a positive attitude to the rise. I wouldn't say "prices are on the up and up" if I was bewailing inflation, for example.

I'm not quite sure what image I get from a defensive end on the up and up.

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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#115829 - 11/14/03 06:54 AM Re: Nunberg's on the up and up
Faldage Offline
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
never heard it to mean deceptively shallow or deceptively anything else either.

Two whole nother expressions. "On the up and up" is one issue, whether "deceptively shallow" means shallow or deep is another.


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