Posted by VictoriaS Dennis on December 15, 2005
In Reply to: Put up, or shut up posted by James Briggs on December 15, 2005
: There's been a debate in the UK over the past day or so about Charles Kennedy's competence to lead the Lib-Dem party. A lot of media sniping has been going on, apparently by anonymous MPs. People are now saying to them 'put up or shut up', presumably meaning 'make yourself public or keep quiet'
: This started me wondering the origin of the expression. Is is fist fights - put up your fists or hold your mouth, or is it from poker - put up your stake or quit the game? Or is it something else?
: Any suggestions/certain origin?
According to Cassell's Dictionary of Slang - usually very reliable - it is from gambling. In other word's it's equivalent to "put your money where your mouth is".