be up on
- be well informed about a matter or subject.
- well versed in.
- knowledgeable about.
- to be up to date on something.
- She’s always up on the latest fashion trends.
- John prides himself on being up on current events in politics.
- Are you up on the new software updates for our system?
- As a history buff, Sarah is up on all the significant events of World War II.
- Our team needs to be up on the competitor’s strategies to stay ahead in the market.
Origin and History
The phrase “up on” likely evolved from the broader usage of “up” to indicate advancement, progress, or elevation in various contexts. Over time, it came to be used colloquially to denote being informed or knowledgeable about something. While it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact origin, the usage of “up” in English to signify a state of heightened awareness or knowledge dates back centuries.
The earliest printed record of the phrase “up on” can be found in the book “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan, published in 1678. It reads:
“They asked him, Whence he was, and whither he was bound? He said, That he was a Pilgrim, going to the Celestial City, but was not quite up on his Journey yet.”