pep someone up

Invigorate someone or cheer someone up, as in This drink will pep you up, or The good news about his recovery pepped us up. [1920s] Both the verb pep and the noun pep, denoting vigor and energy since about 1910, are abbreviations for pepper, a spice with a pungent, biting quality. They also have given rise to pep rally, a meeting to inspire enthusiasm [c. 1940], and pep talk, a speech meant to instill enthusiasm or bolster morale [1920s].


Nearby words

  1. peoria,
  2. peotillomania,
  3. pep,
  4. pep pill,
  5. pep rally,
  6. pep talk,
  7. peperomia,
  8. peperoni,
  9. pepin,
  10. pepin the short

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.