S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen
owlfish

genning up

Reading through an article on Bath in Homes and Antiques this weekend, a phrase caught my eye. It was along the lines of "Go to the Thermae Bath Spa to gen up on life in Roman Bath." Learning English being a long and slow process, I'd never encountered "to gen up on something" as a phrase before. From context it was obvious, a synonym for the (North?) American "to bone up on something".

I asked C. about it. "You'd never use 'to bone up' in British", he said, quite reasonably. His mother disagreed, suggesting too that they don't mean the same thing. She thought that "to gen up" involves gathering general information on something. "Boning up" involves a more detailed study of something, becoming a bit more of a an expert on a particular topic.

So, in honor of International Post-a-Poll Day (singlehandedly declared by easterbunny), here is a poll on the subject.

Poll #862112 To gen up on something

To gen up?

I'm British, and "to gen up" is a normal phrase for me.
19(27.9%)
I'm British, and "to gen up" is NOT a normal phrase for me.
11(16.2%)
I'm not British, and "to gen up" is a normal phrase for me.
0(0.0%)
I'm not British, and "to gen up" is NOT a normal phrase for me.
38(55.9%)

To bone up?

I'm British, and "to bone up" is a normal phrase for me.
14(20.6%)
I'm British, and "to bone up" is NOT a normal phrase for me.
16(23.5%)
I'm not British, and "to bone up" is a normal phrase for me.
29(42.6%)
I'm not British, and "to bone up" is NOT a normal phrase for me.
9(13.2%)


And do they have different meanings, for those of you familiar with both phrases?
Tags: language, two sides of one ocean
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