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The meaning and origin of the expression: A dust up

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A dust-up

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'A dust up'?

A fight.

What's the origin of the phrase 'A dust up'?

Clearly this term alludes to the dust raised in a scuffle or fight. It isn't an especially old phrase and first appears around the end of the 19th century. The earliest printed reference I can find is Sidney L. Hinde's The fall of the Congo Arabs, 1897:

"An American n*gger said ... they ain't had such a dust-up in this hole since creation."