Interested in Language
Could you please help me to understand the meaning of "pick up with" ?
The southern travellers had lost several horses and blamed the innkeeper loudly, until it became known than one of their own number had also disappeared in the night... Suspicion fell on him at once.
'If you pick up with a horse-thief, and bring him to my house,' said Butterbur (the innkeeper) angrily, 'you ought to pay for all the damage yourselves and not come shouting at me. Go and ask Ferny where your handsome friend is!'. But it appeared that he was nobody's friend, and nobody could recollect when he had joined their party.
I have only been able to infere from it that the meaning of the phrase may be similar, in a way, to "increase their own number" or to "get in addition, as an increase" - but still I am not sure... Or is it for "get mixed up with" or for "make yourselves feel more cheerful, or have fun" (even less sure)?...
Thanks very much in advance.
Is this current use in BrE?
It sounds old-fashioned to this American. We might say "take up with" though.
Same here, Barb.
This excerpt is from "The Lord of the Rings" (I am sorry I should have said it at once), so it must be no wonder that it sounds old-fashioned, considering when it was written. Furthermore, the speech of the characters might purposely have been made to sound even more old-fashioned.
Thanks very much for your attention.