- to be annoyed by someone
- to provoke someone on purpose
- to tell someone something that isn’t true
- to get someone excited
- to end up somewhere
- to end up as something
- to come to an end
- My sister really knows how to wind me up.
- I enjoy messing with Peter, he is so easy to wind up.
- Did you really get tickets to the Ed Sheeran concert or are you winding me up?
- Good music really winds me up!
- It doesn’t matter what we do, we always seem to wind up at this restaurant at the end of the night.
- I always thought that Jane would wind up I am surprised at how well she is doing.
- I have sold my company. I just have to wind up a few things before handing it over to the new owners.
The first use of the phrase is indicated as being 1583. There is no clear indication as to where the phrase originated from. However, it could be related to winding up a piece of yarn or rope. In this context it would mean “concluding something or bringing to an end”.
When used to mean “getting someone worked up” it can be related to winding up a clock. In the past clocks had to be wound up before they worked.
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