Gin up

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12 comments on this post.
  1. Rachael:

    I’ve heard alot of Americans (President, TV presenters etc) use the term and I have to admit it gave me pause. In Australia it’s not a well used phrase possibly because here, growing up, a gin was a black person (a very derogatory term, and ‘ginned up’ meant made up – as in all black people are liars so the story is probably ginned up).

    I had a look at origins of the term and it’s very different in the US, so i’ll make an effort to shrug of the shock of hereing the phrase and try to listen to the message in the future.

  2. David Kennedy:

    More discussion on NPR today (22 Dec) on this phrase. I, for one, do not regard it as obscure at all. I use the expression “gin up” regularly, but more to mean “create”, as in “Gin up a response to that request”, and I always thought its origin was the cotton gin, which created a more finished product from something raw.

  3. TC Smith:

    It’s jin up not gin up. Nice try.

  4. John:

    Ummmm…. no, no it’s not. Nice try.

  5. Ross:

    I found this page because I searched on ‘gin up’ because, as noted, it seems to be making a comeback and was new to me. I also entered it into the Google Ngram Viewer (I’ll try to enter a link at the end of this, but don’t know if it will work as this is my first time on this site) and found its popularity peaked in the late 19th century, but is showing a huge increase in the past several years.

    (Oh, and I also frequently make a mental note to look something up when next online — and manage to forget!)

    The Ngram link for the phrase ‘gin up’ is

  6. Tom in DC:

    “Jin Up” Create or conjur up something from nothing much as a Jin (or Genie) does. Frequently used in the military such as “You still need to jin up the specs for the new rocket launcher before we can put it out for bids.” Translation: Full technical specifications are required prior to requesting prototype estimates. Anther example is “He jinned up a white paper that convinced the General that we need a mod to the OPORD.” Translation: He drafted a set of arguments to support initiation of a policy revision.

  7. curious1:

    Don’t you think it originates from the cotton gin? You would “gin up” a bunch of cotton ….

  8. Eileen:

    Even Chris Matthews i used it during his show, Hardball tonight, 2-9-12. New to me.

  9. Byron Hayes:

    Google the term ” figging ” and you will get it

  10. Bannister:

    It does NOT mean to “create” or make up something false. It DOES mean to excite, agitate or “stir the pot” – perhaps through the use of hyperbole, but not outright falsehood.

  11. Wordsmith:

    It more likely refers to “jin” as in “jinn” or “genie.” Jinning up something means to conjure it up, like a genie would.

  12. Locke:

    I would have thought it’s origins were from American Prohibition, regarding cooking bathtub Gin… Which fits all the definitions, to stir the pot, make more lively, and conjure from nothing.

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