They'll pull you up about it...


What does pull one’s up in the sentence mean? My local source gave me the meaning, but I cannot find it in the English dictionaries.

Also, is it common?

Many thanks,

It’s not common.

I would agree with Jamie that it’s not commonly heard. “Pull up” could mean ‘blame’ or ‘reproach’ but it sounds more comfortable with the meaning ‘stop (a car, originally a horse)’.

My source tells me it means to scold a person. Is this correct?

Okay, got it. Thanks!

Hi Cantik

I doubt that an American would understand ‘pull one up’ to mean ‘scold’, ‘blame’ or ‘reproach’, and I doubt they’d guess that meaning even in the context of your sentence.

Out of curiosity, which version of English does your local source speak and did your source find this to be a common usage for ‘pull one up’ (in their version of English)?

Hi Amy,

Thanks for your concern.

I was studying this book; A passage to English. I came across the idiom under the chapter of idioms that starts with the verb “pull”, unfortunately it didn’t say which version of English it was, eventhough the book speaks a lot about the differences between AmE and BrE.

Incidentally, one of the editors of the book is Dr. Peter Rawlings of the University of the West of England, who did American studies.

So, perhaps it belongs to the Brits. :smiley:


Be careful with descriptions of “differences” between British and American English. Many of these explanations in textbooks are inaccurate or downright false.

Luckily, I don’t believe everything I read. :slight_smile:

This book is really fun though. I just finished the subchapter food, under society and culture, and it actually says this:

I was rolling on the floor. :lol: I cannot believe it, are people allowed to write that? And do you think I should believe this? :smiley:

I don’t know whether it’s common in BrE or AmE, but it’s very common in Indian english, especially in newspapers. You would usually find the headlines like the ones below.

Officials pulled up for slow pace.

The Supreme Court has pulled up commercial banks for resorting to muscle power, using goondas to recover loans from defaulters.

And I guess the British used to use it in the past, because Indian newspapers generally follow whatever english the British gave us.

Believe it – about both the English and the Americans, but more so with the Americans. (The new trend in England is for fat people to blame America for their obesity.)

Why do you think people shouldn’t be able to write that? In the US and the UK, you can write anything you want.

Well, it seems impolite, or maybe it is just my Asian trait. Plus, they didn’t back it up with any data/proof.

Great examples, daemon99. Thanks for joining in!

Now all he has to do is tell us what “goondas” are! I assume it’s nothing like a “boxwallah”.

I think goondas share the same meaning as goons, thugs hired to do gangster-ish stuffs like recovering loan.


Funny how talking about ‘pull up’ turns into referring to obesity! Anyhow ‘pull someone up’ is not uncommon to me but I believe it’s more used in connection with correct procedures or correct dress code. It has the air of the military about it. A soldier is pulled up for having dirty brasses/ for not being smart on parade and so on. In other words you are pointing out someone’s failings, making a note of it and considering some kind of punishment.


Thanks, Alan. I think that pretty much explains the meaning of pull someone up.

:lol: It’s not boxwallah, Jamie. siCantikManis is right. A goonda is basically a hired thug.

It must be equivalent to “taking someone up”, which we did in my elementary school when I was a safety patrol boy. If some kid was ignoring us and crossing the street without permission or otherwise breaking the rules, we used to tell him, “I’m gonna take you up!” It meant taking him upstairs to the principal’s office.

Could someone who is hungry hire a goonda to rob the lunches from the boxwallah?