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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
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    #1

    look alive=hurry up?

    Hi, a little help here

    Does look alive mean to hurry up? Just this one explanation?I wonder if it can be used to ask somebody to get their spirits high especially when they are being indifferent to something. After all I think it's close to the literal meaning.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: look alive=hurry up?

    When I've heard it used, 'look alive' means 'be on the look-out'/'Don't be "caught napping"'/[or, a more recent American* - ball-game based metaphor]'Heads up'.

    A similar expression that does mean 'hurry up' is [the command] 'Look lively'. Sometimes the verb is ellipted: 'Come on men, lively now'. (This is a bit dated - you'll come across it chiefly in period dramas and war films.)

    b

    PS *When I was playing rugby (1966-'74) the traditional warning to look out for a high ball was just 'Heads'.

  3. probus's Avatar
    Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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    #3

    Re: look alive=hurry up?

    To me, "look alive" means "wake up", "quit dozing", "pay attention to what is going on".

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