Slang City Mail

Click here get this free weekly newsletter delivered to your e-mailbox! Want to see more? Go back to All the Words main page.

April 14, 2005

Slang of the Week: knock up (verb phrase)
to make pregnant

Example:
When Jennifer was knocked up, all she could think about was eating pickles.

Celebrity quote:
“She and Kev were married in September. She could already be seven months along by now, assuming she opted to seal her union before she got with child. And we can’t imagine she would have gotten knocked up before everything was nice and official now, can we? Can we?”
-Columnist Jon Bonn for MSNBC, doing the math on Britney Spears’ pregnancy

This expression was an eye opener for me when I lived in Great Britain, because as with many slang phrases, it does not have the same meaning on the other side of the pond.

After walking me home from a party, a man I had just met surprised me by saying that he would knock me up on the following day. In the UK, people use knock up to mean wake someone up by knocking on their door.

Britney Spears’ pregnancy has been announced in the news with a variety of slang and euphemisms, including preggers and on stork watch. My favorite, from E! Entertainment, was the 1950s-style slang headline, “Brit’s Bun in the Oven.”

What’s new at Slang City?
New pictures in Real English Graffiti and GLBT slang.