This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Thing To Do Today: hold up something.

No, no, please, this is a law-abiding blog. Please do not load up your holsters, saddle up your horse, and ride out along a lonely road to wait for a stage coach.

Apart from anything else, you'll probably die waiting.

No, I was thinking more of the other sort of holding up. The opposite sort (yes, holding up is a contranyn, something meaning two opposite things depending upon how you use it) because there's also the sort of holding up that means to give support to: to stop something falling over or down, or perhaps to keep it from withering. 

An example I came across recently was holding up democracy, where it meant to give support to it, not to hold it to ransom.

The easiest thing to hold up is probably an example, as an encouragement, or perhaps a discouragement, to others.

Friends, I hold up, as examples of various things, Mr Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, the Brexit negotiations, and instant mashed potato.

If you are feeling literal today, then, of course, you could actually hold something up. A piece if art, perhaps. Or just a hand.

Or, if trying to get into a supermarket car park, the traffic.

Minneapolis. Photo By Calebrw - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Thing To Do Today: hold up something. The word hold hasn't changed very much since Old English times, when it was healdan

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