phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|

Young upstart

Posted by Smokey Stover on February 10, 2008 at 17:24:

In Reply to: Young upstart posted by Victoria S Dennis on February 10, 2008 at 17:23:

: : What is the origin of the phrase/saying "young upstart"?

: It isn't a "phrase", as such. An "upstart", ever since the mid-16th century, has meant "someone who has newly or suddenly risen in position, rank, or importance". Upstarts can be of any age; if they are young, they are "young upstarts". (VSD)

Doubtless Victoria is correct, in that upstarts can be of any age. Nonetheless, I've always thought of then as "young," and of the phrase as somewhat pleonastic.