from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb idiomatic to "be a man about it"; to do the things a good man is traditionally expected to do, such as: taking responsibility for the consequences of one's actions; displaying bravery or toughness in the face of adversity; providing for one's family, etc.
  • verb idiomatic (of military personnel in a unit) to assemble, each person manning (attending to) his station, prepared for departure of an aircraft, ship, etc.
  • verb idiomatic (of personnel, industrial, etc.) to staff adequately; to staff up; to successfully fill all needed labor positions.
  • verb sports to vigorously guard the opponent to which one is assigned


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

man + up, with influence from own up, buck up. Used frequently in military circles.


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  • "Man up and go for it!" (Golf ball commercial motto).

    July 22, 2007

  • “I thought that when I was protecting this country, we had the best,�? said Clemons, a former combat medic in Iraq who lost his right leg in an explosion. “We do things right, we do things the best way. And just to know that other countries can man up and support their Paralympic athletes, and we’re not, it’s disappointing.�?

    The New York Times, U.S. Paralympians Add Equality to Their Goals, by Alan Schwarz, September 5, 2008

    September 6, 2008

  • Not to be confused with cowboy up.

    June 14, 2011

  • Blaffertjes, on the old Wordie the words that weren't listed did not have a page as such, simply a 404-style placeholder that said "Nobody is listing xxxxxx. Why don't you?" If someone listed a word, and then unlisted that word, a page would exist but with a blank 'appears in these lists:' column. We referred to these pages as ghosts or orphans. The kindly yarb set up a place to house them which is why cowboy up appears on a list called Adoption Agency.

    June 14, 2011

  • That is very sweet of yarb. I might warn people in general not to adopt any cowboys, or let your words grow up to be cowboys, however.

    June 14, 2011