phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Up in Arms

Posted by Masakim on April 19, 2002

In Reply to: Up in Arms posted by ESC on April 19, 2002

: : Can't find an explanation for Up in Arms. Anybody know this one?
: : Thanks

: "Arms" as in weapons.

: UP IN ARMS - "Angry, rebellious. This term originally signified an armed rebellion and was so used from the late 1500's. It began to be used figuratively about 1700, as in 'The members were up in arms when the election was postponed.'" From "Fighting Words: From War, Rebellion, and other Combative Capers" by Christine Ammer (NTC Publishing Group, Chicago, Ill., 1989, 1999).

The princely Warwick, and the Nevils all,
Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain,
As hating thee, are rising up in arms:
And now the house of York, thrust from the crown
By shameful murder of a guiltless king
And lofty proud encroaching tyranny,
Burns with revenging fire; whose hopeful colours
Advance our half-faced sun, striving to shine,
Under the which is writ 'Invitis nubibus.'
The commons here in Kent are up in arms:
And, to conclude, reproach and beggary
Is crept into the palace of our king.
And all by thee. Away! convey him hence.
--Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, IV. I.

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