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Which way is upside?

Posted by Smokey Stover on June 10, 2006

In Reply to: Which way is upside? posted by Brian from Shawnee on June 09, 2006

: : : Which way is upside?

: : : In the US, when somebody slaps you "upside your head", is that a downward blow from above, or an upward blow from below? The word isn't used in the UK.

: : I don't think it really matters. IMO, upside in this phrase is not directional but positional - it basically means the same as beside, alongside, against the side of. I would expect a straight across slap against the side of the head.

: If both the slapper and the slappee are standing and they're about the same height, the direction of bringing the hand up to head level would be upward.

☺ As a Yankee, I hope our British friends do not get the notion that "upside the head" is a more common expression than it actually is. Doubtless it is or was a common enough expression somewhere in that vast area east of the Mississippi River and south of the Mason-Dixon Line (that is, south of Pennsylvania). It has found a use elsewhere in American speech and writing only because it is regarded as picturesque, or "cute." And if one or more of my countrymen think me wrong, speak up.
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