Posted by The Fallen on January 31, 2002

In Reply to: Soft "g"? posted by Word Camel on January 31, 2002

: : : As in John looks like he could use a little geeing up. or Why don't we go gee him up? Meaning to encourage and lift someone's spirits.

: : : I have seen and heard this used in the UK but not in the US. It's not in my American dictionary. I'd like to know the origin of the phrase and particuarly the word itself.

: : Eric Partridge's A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English gives three definitions for "gee," and the third one seems to fit, partly. "To encourage, incite; delude . . . Anon., 'Dartmoor from Within,' 1932. Perhaps [from] 'gee up!'"
: : "Gee up" is a command to a horse: move forward, or move faster.
: : : Curiously,

: : : Camel

: Thanks for the info - does it happen to to say whether the "g" is hard or soft? In the word I am thinking of, it's soft. Maybe I'm thinking of "giddy up" which has a hard "g". Sorry to be a pain - I'm begining to think I ought out and purchase Partridge...

: C

The g's absolutely soft, and the word is pronounced "jee". If it were pronounced with a hard "g", to "ghee someone up" would possibly mean to dip them in melted Indian butter, a practice which I'll bet is totally illegal in the states of Idaho and Utah.