Green’s Dictionary of Slang

get it up v.

(orig. US)

1. (also get one up, get up) to achieve an erection; occas. in fig. use of a woman; early cits. are double entendres, with cit. 1741 punning on frigate n. (1).

[[UK] ‘A Man and a Young Maid’ in Furnivall & Hales Bishop Percy’s Folio Manuscript of Loose and Humorous Songs (1868) 51–2: He light in a hole ere he was aware! [...] But shee fell a-kissing, hye! / & he lay drooping, hoe, and he lay drooping, hoe. / ‘My Billy, my pilly! how now?’ quoth she; / ‘gett vp againe, Billy, if that thou louest me;’ [...] He thought Mickle shame to lye soe longe; / he gott vp againe & grew very strong].
[‘Capt. Samuel Cock’ A Voyage to Lethe 30: The Dukes of B.....d and M.....b have very gallant frigates, and to do them justice, they use their utmost efforts to get them up, though they fall short].
[US] ‘William Powell and Myrna Loy in “Nuts to Will Hays”’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 88: I’ll have to suck you off [...] I just can’t get it up again!
[US]W. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1968) 33: He can’t drink. He can’t get it up.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 210: He couldnt get it up for 20 years, or maybe more.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 221: [of a woman] If she can get up up for me, I’ll stick it in.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 24: You’re not sure you can get it up.
[US](con. 1960s) D. Goines Black Gangster (1991) 197: He’s too damn old to get one up.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 80: We make up some new religion to excite us and get up our things.
[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 28: ‘Can we make love, do you think?’ [...] ‘That depends,’ she says. ‘What on?’ ‘Could you get it up?’.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 25: The Manager gave him all the free bourbon he could guzzle and, if he could still get it up, some Oblivious backbooth skull.
M.E. Dassad ‘Chickenhawk’ at www.cultdeadcow.com [Internet] when I’m in hunting mode I can get it up four or five times a day and the first one’s usually a quick one.
[US]J. Stahl Bad Sex on Speed 14: Remember how you felt the first time you couldn’t get it up? The scalding rage.
[UK]I. Welsh Decent Ride 170: N ah kin git it up like that. He snaps his fingers.

2. of a woman, to stimulate the penis to erection.

Man of Pleasure’s Illus. Pocket-book n.p.: [S]he was brought up a clear starcher, and [...] seems still to retain a proper knowledge of that vocation, as few ladies of that profession are better qualified to get up small things to the highest perfection.

3. (US Und.) to amass and produce a required sum of money, e.g. in payment of an outstanding debt.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 79/1: Get it up. An ominous demand for payment of blackmail, protection money, gambling debts, portions of loot believed withheld, etc.
[US]H. Ellison ‘At the Mountain of Blindness’ in Gentleman Junkie 63: I can’t get it up till tomorra’.
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 120: What diff, so long as he gets it up. And I don’t mean the bagaga, Doc. I mean the gelt.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 84: I’ll get it up, Chilly [...] You’ll get paid.

4. in fig. use, to maintain enthusiasm for an idea, situation etc.

[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 46: Some of them can hardly get it up for that.
[US] in H.S. Thompson Great Shark Hunt (1980) 197: The liberals simply can’t get it up.
[US] W. Safire What’s The Good Word? 289: As I was sitting here at my desk [...] I found myself invited to cover a particular event — to which I replied, ‘I can’t get it up for that.’ This is odd, for two reasons: 1. I’m a woman. 2. I never use crude or sexual vernacular. [...] I hope you can get it up to discuss this in your column.
[US]R. Price Clockers 401: He’d get it up for a visit, go see if his brother needed anything.
[UK]K. Richards Life 527: He couldn’t get it up to make his case.