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On the up, or on the uppers?

September 2, 2017

A recent idiom mash-up has been brought to my attention by my old friend Bruce Dessau. Kezia Dugdale, interviewed by the BBC shortly after her resignation from the Scottish Labour Party earlier this week, claimed that the Labour Party was on its uppers. (I have to take this one on trust because I didn’t hear the interview and the section I found on Youtube does not include that bit.) The context apparently made clear that she meant the Labour Party was in a flourishing state, so she couldn’t really have meant it was on its uppers, an expression signifying desperate poverty – the idea being that the soles of one’s shoes have completely worn away, leaving only the uppers. Presumably she meant on the up. A curious mix-up: was it a malapropism, or a Freudian slip?

P.S. May I bring to your attention my comic fantasy YA novel The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers – here is the link: https://unbound.com/books/adam-gowers . Go there and you will see a neat little 2-minute video of me explaining why the time for this novel has come! And if you support it you will get your name in the back and an invitation to the launch party.

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One Comment
  1. Simon Carter permalink

    Unless she meant amphetamines.

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