Origin of beef-up
noun, plural beeves [beevz] /bivz/ for 2; beefs for 4.
- brawn; muscular strength.
- strength; power.
- weight, as of a person.
- human flesh.
- a complaint.
- an argument or dispute.
verb (used without object)
- to add strength, numbers, force, etc., to; strengthen: During the riots, the nighttime patrol force was beefed up with volunteers.
- to increase or add to: to beef up our fringe benefits.
Origin of beef
Related Words for beef upadd, amplify, augment, boost, brace, fortify, increase, intensify, reinforce, shore, support
Word Origin for beef
"add strength," 1941, from college slang, from beef (n.) in slang sense of "muscle-power" (1851).
"to complain," slang, 1888, American English, from noun meaning "complaint" (1880s). The noun meaning "argument" is recorded from 1930s. The origin and signification are unclear; perhaps it traces to the common late 19c. complaint of U.S. soldiers about the quantity or quality of beef rations.
c.1300, from Old French buef "ox; beef; ox hide" (11c., Modern French boeuf), from Latin bovem (nominative bos, genitive bovis) "ox, cow," from PIE root *gwou- "cow, ox, bull" (see cow (n.)). Original plural was beeves.
Strengthen, reinforce, as in Mary wants us to beef up her part in the play. This phrase relies on an older slang sense of beef as “muscles” or “power.” [Colloquial; late 1800s]
In addition to the idiom beginning with beef
- beef up
- where's the beef