"rub up on" and "brush up"

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Junior Member
Mar 6, 2010
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Phrasal Verb: Rub up on
Example: I need to RUB UP ON my Portuguese before I go to Brazil.

Phrasal Verb: Brush up
Example: She took a two-week course to BRUSH UP her Spanish before she travelling around South and Central America.

Do you use these phrases in the same sense?

I'm not familiar with the first phrase , especially not with that meaning. I wonder if perhaps it's similar to RUB UP AGAINST, as in a cat rubbing up against your leg. However, a little googling shows me several online dictionaries that contain the meaning you've listed. It seems to be a British English usage.

With the second phrase, at least here in the US it's more common to hear BRUSH UP ON xxxx. Maybe I need to brush up on my British English ;-)
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