from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The upper side or portion.
  • noun An advantageous aspect.
  • noun An upward tendency, as in business profitability or in the prices of a stock.
  • preposition On.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • On the upper side.
  • noun The upper side; the upper part.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The upper side; the part that is uppermost.
  • noun the benefits; the positive features; -- said of a situation or event that has both positive (good) and negative (bad) aspects.
  • noun [Prov. Eng. & Scot.] to be even with.
  • noun With the upper part undermost; hence, in confusion; in complete disorder; topsy-turvy.

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

  • noun the highest or uppermost side or portion of something
  • noun a favourable aspect of something that also has an unfavourable aspect
  • noun an upward tendency, especially in a financial market etc
  • preposition informal On the top of.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the highest or uppermost side of anything


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • He chose "Democracy" as his subject and turned the term upside down by declaring, "Who can blame Signor Mussolini for describing it as a putrefying corpse?"

    Top stories from Times Online 2011

  • The inexperience obviously hurt the Aggies at times, though the upside is the potential the team could possess in 2010 as long as the newcomers get stronger in the weight room and improve on the field.

    Texas A&M - Team Notes 2010

  • Their conclusion, in what they call their upside scenario, projects an American unemployment rate down 2 percent from the baseline.

    Beyond the Crash Gordon Brown 2010

  • A good cold snap may carry off some valuable bits of wildlife and cost in energy terms but the upside is a culling of troublesome pests that cannot be achieved in any other way.

    Archive 2007-09-23 2007

  • A good cold snap may carry off some valuable bits of wildlife and cost in energy terms but the upside is a culling of troublesome pests that cannot be achieved in any other way.

    A Biblical Scourge 2007

  • They go to refinance, they go to sell the property, and they are what we call upside down.

    CNN Transcript Jun 18, 2005 2005

  • His long-term upside is somewhat limited in light of the fact that he'll be 25 this year. 2002

  • Her book lay open upon the window - sill and Desire, having good eyes, could read its title upside down.

    The Window-Gazer Isabel Ecclestone Mackay 1901

  • Do you see a short term upside for this company in in a month or two?

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed Lou Schizas 2011

  • Geopolitical issues such as what is happening in Egypt currently also pose short term upside risk to prices but I think oil prices likely trade in a range of $85-$95/b in 2011.

    unknown title 2011


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  • "As if that weren't enough, 'The Snowman' channel has joined the insanity! Yes, it's just this. A moving picture of a paralyzed snowman caught in a wintery scene with ghastly Christmas tunes urging him to slap himself upside the head. But he can't, you see, which is an interesting situation and one that holds my brain hostage for hours."

    - Maryann, 'Deranged Snowman and Caffeine Intoxication',, 6 Dec 2008.

    I have never heard this prepositional use of upside in Australian English.

    December 7, 2008

  • Being slapped upside the head is relatively common here--or I should say that the phrase is relatively common. :-)

    December 8, 2008

  • May I try it? Pleeassee?! *backflips*

    December 8, 2008

  • Try what? To slap me upside the head? I must warn you: I have powerful friends.

    December 8, 2008

  • *slaps himself upside the head*

    I'm not sure I'm doing this right.

    *slaps himself upside the head again*

    Oooh, yeah. I think there's something in it.

    December 8, 2008

  • Not bad! It does work much better when you slap someone else upside the head. However, please note that I am not volunteering.

    *slaps computer monitor upside the head*

    December 8, 2008

  • Hehe.

    January 13, 2009

  • So... I take it that not having heard of this phrase is an upside of living Down Under.

    December 24, 2010