View Full Version : What do you think this phrase means?

Dario D.
12-10-2009, 10:57 AM
Just wondering what people think "worked up" means... I hear it used all sorts of ways, often without clarification of what emotion we're talking about.

Clair Dickson
12-10-2009, 06:04 PM
I've actually heard it used for all three of the meanings above, and it's often contextual. Upset is probably the best word I would apply to it-- and upset, like worked up, can apply to being angry, distressed, sad, agitated, and others. It's kind of nebulous to me.

12-10-2009, 06:29 PM
I'm with Clair. It's always been used as upset, but not one specific "upset". L

Dario D.
12-10-2009, 06:32 PM
Hmm, but wouldn't an unspecified "upset" be the same as option 3: "full of X emotion" (unknown)? ...since we don't know what "upset" means, until the context is explained.

Wayne K
12-10-2009, 06:35 PM
upset (v.)
c.1440, "to set up, fix," from up + set (v.). Cf. M.Du. opsetten, Ger. aufsetzen. Modern sense of "overturn, capsize" (1803) is that of obsolete overset. Meaning "to throw into mental discomposure" is from 1805. The noun sense of "overturning of a vehicle or boat" is recorded from 1804.

From my etymology dictionary.

Worked up can be used in erotica to mean arousal. It has a few uses.

12-10-2009, 06:44 PM
Highly emotional, whatever that emotion would be.

12-10-2009, 08:46 PM
It has a very specific meaning in synthetic organic chemistry, refering to terminating a reaction and isolting the crude mixture

12-10-2009, 10:23 PM
Worked up = over emotional, emotionally wrought.

pink lily
12-10-2009, 10:30 PM
"That photo of Adrien Brody got me all worked up."


12-10-2009, 10:37 PM
I've worked up several steel silhouette competition loads for my pistol.

Clair Dickson
12-10-2009, 11:36 PM
Hmm, but wouldn't an unspecified "upset" be the same as option 3: "full of X emotion" (unknown)? ...since we don't know what "upset" means, until the context is explained.

Well, when you explain it that way, yes, that's what I'd say. But the version in the poll didn't include the part about context, so I voted other. Yes, I'm ntipicky about that sort of thing. =)

12-10-2009, 11:42 PM
Actively emotional, which means talking, yelling, arm waving, tearing up, crying, etc. but NOT hitting and NOT being so sad that you just sit there and stare into space.

I also think it means that this is not an explosive reaction, but one you 'work up to'. Say, someone starts talking about an ex-girlfriend and gets more an more emotional as he discusses her, finally raising his voice and pounding the table, yelling about how she cheated him out of money and love.

Like that.

12-11-2009, 12:14 AM
Yeah, I can see where it means all the things said so far, but angry/frustrated is the first and I think most common thing that comes to mind, and that's how I voted.