Pull your socks up

Posted by Masakim on April 03, 2003

In Reply to: Pull your socks up posted by ESC on April 03, 2003

: : I was surprised to not find this saying in the database. I know what it means, of course, but I'd be interested to read anyone's views on the exact origin of this saying.

: : Thanks

: Well, I've heard it as an obscene call to readiness: drop your ****s and pull up your socks.

pull up one's socks v phr by 1893 To correct one's behavior; look to one's performance; = GET ON THE BALL: "Whittingham was terminated after having failed to pull up his socks enough during six months on probation" --Toronto Life
From Dictionary of American Slang by Robert L. Chapman
*pull one's socks up* is an idiom cliche used to mean to make an effort to do better. It is often children who are at the receiving end of this cliche, as "If you don7T pull your socks up you will find yourself repeating the year," although its use is not confined to them. In origin it refers to smartening oneself up by pulling socks up that have slipped round one's ankles, a common problem for schoolboys wearing short trousers.
From _Cliches_ by Betty Kirkpatrick
Pull up your socks! I'll see naught goes wrong with you. (H. F. McClelland, _Jack & Beanstalk_, 1893)
The "smart set" have got hold of another neat expression. "You must pull your socks up" is the latest form of saying "Never mind," or "Pull yourself together." (_Daily Mail _, February 14, 1906)
There's hope for you if you pull your socks up. (M. Kennedy, _Together & Apart_, 1936)