Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Maybo is online now Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,184

    What do you have up your sleeve.

    What do you have up your sleeve?

    What does up mean?
    Last edited by Maybo; 14-Jun-2017 at 14:24. Reason: correction
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    22,253

    Re: What do you have up your sleeve.

    In this idiom, it means "in a direction away from the ground". The idiom comes from card-playing or stage magic, where someone may hide a playing card or other object in their sleeve.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    31,853

    Re: What do you have up your sleeve.

    Maybo, please reconsider the punctuation mark that should follow 'sleeve'.

  4. #4
    Maybo is online now Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,184

    Re: What do you have up your sleeve.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    In this idiom, it means "in a direction away from the ground". The idiom comes from card-playing or stage magic, where someone may hide a playing card or other object in their sleeve.
    So, up means like the movement of taking out of the card? Away from the sleeve?
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

  5. #5
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    22,253

    Re: What do you have up your sleeve.

    No. Imagine you're standing up with your arm hanging loosely. If you have something hidden in your sleeve, it's further from the ground than the end of your sleeve; it's up your sleeve.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. #6
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    11,441

    Re: What do you have up your sleeve.

    Think of "up" as "hidden in".

  7. #7
    Maybo is online now Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,184

    Re: What do you have up your sleeve.

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Think of "up" as "hidden in".
    Away from ground and hidden in sleeve?
    If I make any mistakes in English, please let me know!

  8. #8
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    11,441

    Re: What do you have up your sleeve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybo View Post
    Away from the ground and hidden in sleeve?
    It's hardly going to be close to the ground, is it?

    GoesStation was trying to explain to you what "up" connotes in that expression.

  9. #9
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    14,923

    Re: What do you have up your sleeve.

    Confusingly, it doesn't have to be "away from the ground" if, for example, the arm is horizontal like when the elbows are resting on the table. It could even be in a direction towards the ground, depending on the position of the arm. It just means 'hidden in the sleeve'.

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    61,262

    Re: What do you have up your sleeve.

    It's connected to a magician's trick of hiding a card up their sleeve. In order to get the card to its hidden position, the magician has to push the card up the sleeve of the jacket.

    See here for images that might help.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •