Ginning Up – Meaning, Usage and Origin

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘gin up?’ Like many people out there, you might have encountered this phrase but never thought about its meaning.

The phrase ‘Gin Up’ has existed since the 14th century. However, its usage in speech remained minimal until President Obama mentioned the phrase in his political speech in 2020. Since then, the application of the ‘gin up’ phrase gained traction as people could use it to express different meanings.

If you have never heard the phrase before or have heard of it but don’t know its implication, we shall break it for you. Keep reading to know more about its meaning, origin, similar phrases, opposite phrases, and application in communication.

‘Ginning Up,’ Its Origin and Meaning

Note: ‘Ginning Up’ is the present participle of the phrase ‘Gin Up.’ So we shall focus on the phrase’s present tense, ‘gin up.’

Some anecdotal claims indicate that the ‘gin up’ phrase emerged in the 19th century from the consumption of the famous Gin liquor.

Other sources indicate that the phrase ‘gin up’ might have been deduced from the first word of the phrase, ‘gin.’ The word ‘gin’ was used in the 13th century to mean to start or begin. It could also be used to mean skill or ingenuity.

Though the phrase existed, it was not popular until the US president; Barack Obama used the phrase in his political speech. Today, people use the phrase to mean ‘to increase something’, to stir something up, ‘to drive something’, and ‘to cause trouble.’

Another theory, ginger theory, claims that the phrase ‘gin up’ means to make something livelier. It may have been based on the ginger technique that was believed to improve the horses’ racing performance or make them appeal to potential customers.

So, depending on the context, ‘Gin up’ may mean to start something, generate, stir something, trouble, stimulate or make something livelier.

Examples Of The Ginned Up Phrase In Different Contexts

Below are some of the use cases of the phrase ‘ginned up.’

  • He painted his home interiors white to make them seem ginned up
  • The trouble in yesterday’s meeting was ginned up by a drunkard member who came late
  • He claimed that taking a cigar could gin up his mind to stay awake for longer

Ginned Up-similar Phrases (Synonym)

As mentioned above, the phrase ‘gin up’ may also mean to:

  • Stir up
  • Stimulate
  • Enliven
  • Create
  • Devise
  • Generate
  • Drink especially Gin
  • Setup
  • Exaggerate

Ginned Up-opposite Phrases (Antonyms)

The following words contrast with the meanings of the ‘ginned up’ phrase:

  • Abstemious
  • Clearheaded
  • Of the booze
  • On the wagon
  • Temperate
  • Unemotional
  • Off the sauce
  • Teetotal
  • Not intoxicated
  • Level
  • Not drunk
  • Moderate

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