phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Buck up

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 24, 2006

In Reply to: Buck up posted by James Briggs on March 24, 2006

: : My lovely wife (from Portland, Maine) sometimes uses the phrase 'buck up' and I think the meaning is similar to 'suck it up' or just to deal with the issue. We have run into at least one other person (from Iowa) who instantly recognized this phrase and said his dad used this phrase with him as a young man. I have not found any reference to this phrase on your web page or others yet. Thanks,

: : Clint Beasley

: This is what Victoria Dennis wrote in March 2005
: "According to the SOED it derives from the eighteenth-century "buck" meaning a dashing gallant fellow (a figurative sense of "buck" meaning "stag"). Thus to "buck up" meant first to smarten up one's appearance, then to make haste, to energise oneself generally."

Back in Tinyville, U.S.A., it meant cheer up, get hold of yourself, get back your moxie. It was consolatory and hortatory at the same time. "Buck up, old boy, it could have been worse." I wouldn't call "suck it up," which has a sort of stern harshness, an equivalent. SS