re-up syntax

From Jon Lighter on ADS-L early in the month:

CNN advises us … to “get re-upped on” our MMR [measles / mumps / rubella] vaccinations. I.e., join the crusade against vaccine avoidance: get the kids their booster shots, you nut-case parents!

And W Brewer recalls the connection to

re-up ‘to re-enlist’ (U.S. military slang), with possibility of getting a re-enlistment bonus

The military usage we’ve looked at on this blog. It goes back over a hundred years, with early cites having especially simple syntax: no object, either direct or oblique, but interpreted as having an oblique object referring to a branch of the service: to re-up understood as ‘to re-enlist in/with (branch of service)’, with the specific branch understood from context. Call this the objectless re-enlistment use.

My earlier posting was primarily focused on the issue of external vs. internal inflection for this verb (PST re-upped vs. re’d-up). Here I’m interested in the syntax and semantics of the verb, getting from the objectless re-enlistment use to the oblique-object renewal use in get re-upped on.

Re-enlistment. The earliest of the uses looks like a way of expressing re + sign up ‘sign up again’, a formation that’s blocked by the fact that the prefix re– combines with a V, while sign up is a V + Prt phrase. In general, re– will not combine with a phrasal verb: give up again ‘abandon all effort again’, but not *re-give up; give something up again ‘reluctantly part with something again’, but not *re-give something up.

RenewalAHD5 gives two senses for re-up, ‘re-enlist’ and ‘renew’:

informal 1. To enlist again for military service. 2. To sign a renewed contract for employment or service.

NOAD2 also gives two senses for re-up, the first (‘re-enlist’) objectless, the second (‘renew’) with an oblique object (marked by with) or a direct object:

re-enlist: he never regretted re-upping during the war.

renew an arrangement, such as an employment contract or membership agreement: I’m not likely to re-up with this phone company | [with obj.]: CBS has re-upped Harmon for a ninth season.

Replenishment and repetition. Two further senses of re-up in my earlier posting, both from U.S. drug contexts as reported in GDoS: ‘to replenish one’s supply of drugs’ and ‘to take another dose of a drug’. The later senses (renewal, replenishment, and repetition) take off from various verbs with the prefix re– ‘again’ (renew, replenish, repeat), with re-up ‘sign up again, re-enlist’ presumably as the model.

Oblique objects. An oblique object can of course be explicit (as in the NOAD2 entry) rather than implicit. Oblique objects can be marked by with (re-up with the Marines, re-up with the phone company), in (re-up in the Marines, re-up in the frequent flyer program), or on (re-up on my meds). Some attested examples:

re-up with:

To obligate or engage oneself again: paying him $6,000,000 to re-up with the Cubs (Dictionary of American Slang 4th ed. by Barbara Ann Kipfer)

hhgregg, Nationwide Marketing Re-up With Synchrony: Consumer financial services firm Synchrony Financial has signed separate, multi-year contract extensions with hhgregg and the Nationwide Marketing Group. (link)

re-up in:

I just hit max rank last night, and then proceeded to re-up. Note that hitting 100 gets you nothing, not that it inherently should but you at least got an achievement in Gears 3, and you also received a weapon skin, again, not a huge deal. After you re-up in Gears 4, you do receive at least an achievement, so I suppose complaining about a lack of one after hitting 100 is a moot point. (link)

My husband wants to re-up in the Army but I can’t handle another deployment…? (link)

re-up on:

Looking to re-up on your organic oils + butters during this Cyber Monday? (link)

Re-up On A Fresh Pair of Roshes [Roshe shoes] Without Breaking The Bank. (link)

Re-up on Illest Wave Tee on shop.fatlace.com (link)

Direct objects. The last NOAD2 sub-entry has the (I suppose) expectable extension to fully transitive re-up, in to re-up someone ‘to re-enlist someone’. From that you can get ordinary passives (Harmon was re-upped for a ninth season) and get-passives (Harmon got re-upped for a ninth season). Which is where we came in (get re-upped on our MMR vaccinations).

Some attested examples of get re-upped on:

When you get re-upped on your #addy meds, the sun finally shows itself and @steveaoki radio is on you know it’s a going 2 be a good night (link)

wileymillerTime to get re-upped on some Avalanche education. Tonight with @avyinstitute we were given a checklist, same as a pilot’s only for the winter travel in the mountains. (link)

Annyong The app crashed while opening a pack of cards, and now I lost the cards and the gold spent on them. Can I get re-upped on gold or given back the pack of cards? (link)

Brian, from The Federal came in to get re-upped on their “secret sauce.” (link)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: