up against phr.
1. (orig. US) facing problems, in difficulties; esp. in phr. up against it.
|A Daughter of the Tenements 230: I tumbles enough t’ pipe dat dis Mark Waters would be up against it hard if Teresa knowed of dese letters.|
|Shorty McCabe 8: Course, there’s times when I finds myself up against it.|
|You Know Me Al (1984) 105: I am up against it right Al and I don’t know where I am going to head in at.|
|Truth (Melbourne) 3 Jan. 3/5: For a stone-broker to apply to the heads of the fashionable religious sects for relief when he is ‘up against it’ would be about as commonensical as anything that can be imagined — over the left.|
|Chicago May (1929) 79: He hunted me up, without any solicitation on my part, or that of my friends, and voluntarily provided me with money and a lawyer when I was up against it.|
|Age Of Consent 26: Have to go dam’ slow on that money or we’ll be up against it.|
|Kingsblood Royal (2001) 251: Then I realized that I’m married to a Negro, that I’m up against it. Oh, dear God!|
|Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 97: I’m up against it, and only Jeeves can save my name.|
|Flat 4 King’s Cross (1966) 73: ‘You up against it, kid?’.|
|Skyvers III i: I believe you... defeat yourself: up against it with your mates just now, instead of producing a better essay than Adams’s you write three lines.|
|(con. 1920s) Emerald Square 20: My mother could act quickly and courageously when she was up against it.|
|Observer Screen 22 Aug. 24: She’s up against it.|
2. (US prison) addicted to drugs.
|N.Y.’s Chinatown 163: Then the yen-yen came and I used to have to smoke to keep from getting sick. Now I suppose I’m up against it for good.|
|Und. Speaks n.p.: Up against it, addicted to dope.|
|DAUL 231/2: Up against It. Addicted to, as to a drug habit.et al.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 133: Now Pretty Pill was a good con man, he shoulda have never been broke / but the trouble with the Frenchman, he was up against the coke.|
|Prison Sl. 79: Strung Out When a person is addicted to drugs, either physically or psychologically, he is said to be strung out. […] (Archaic: up against it).|
3. the responsibility of.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 6 July 13/2: [I]f the items in question have since come to light it is ‘up against’ the Senator to publish the glad tidings.|
1. (US drugs) to smoke opium as an addict (rather than an occasional user).
|N.Y.’s Chinatown 161: It’s only Berth; she’s going up against it to-night, ain’t you Berth?|
2. (US Und.) to attempt a robbery.
|Keys to Crookdom 406: Go up against. To attempt thievery. To go up against a safe – to try to blow the safe.|
(Aus.) denoting a setback, a problem; usu. in phr. that’s one up against your duckhouse.
|Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. 30: fowlhouse, up against one’s see ‘duck house, up against one’s’ [i.e. ‘A phrase used to describe some setback to a person’s plans’].|
|Holy Smoke 51: He does a bit of a grin to Himself, and he says, ‘That’s one up against your duckhouse, Jonah!’.|
|Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 148: one for your duckhouse roof A setback or snub. Derives from the Australian habit of chalking up a score on the duckhouse roof or wall, denoting a delay or defeat.|
see behind the eight ball phr.
(drugs) addicted to smoking marijuana.
|ONDCP Street Terms 22: Up against the stem — Addicted to smoking marijuana.|
1. (also ...the bit, …the bricks, ...the gun, ...the push, ...the ropes, ...the wire) facing serious problems.
|‘9009’ (1909) 70: Ye can’t help me [...] nobody can’t. I’m up against the push.|
|DN III:viii 592: up against the bit, adj. phr. Anxious; eager. ‘All the Progressives are right up against the bit.’.‘Word-List From Western Indiana’ in|
|Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 224: Folks never come to him [loan shark] unless they are flat against the rough bricks.‘It Wasn’t Honest, But It Was Sweet’ in|
|(con. WWI) Soldier and Sailor Words 299: Wall, Up Against The: In serious difficulties.|
|I Can Get It For You Wholesale 65: I went in there all cocky, because I knew we had them up against the ropes.|
|‘Hotel Sl.’ in AS XIV:3 Oct. 240/1: up against the gun In difficulties.|
|No Beast So Fierce 187: Hard times make hard people. I was up against the wall.|
|Tales from a City Farmyard 18: That was one situation where the Da might indeed have ‘put me up against the wall,’ had anything serious happened to the mare.|
|Guardian Rev. 4 Sept. 7: When you’re right up against the wire, you share a lot.|
2. (US campus) foolish, stupid [reinforced by 1960s’ radical slogan, Up against the wall, motherfucker!].
|AS L:1/2 68: Can you believe anyone would think that? Boy, he is really up against the wall!‘Razorback Sl.’ in|