about as an adjective

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Agnès E., Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    Bonjour ! :)
    When someone says:

    She's always up and about at six in the morning.

    to mean fully awake, full of energy: It this use of about colloquial or standard English?
  2. Old Novice

    Old Novice Senior Member

    USA, English
    It's a phrase you hear all the time. I would have no hesitation about using it except in the most formal circumstances.

    Edit: I think the "about" refers to being somewhere other than bed, in the sense of "man about town."
  3. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    It is standard. Beware of "official" descriptions, such as this one from the Cambridge Int'l. Dict. of Idioms:

    That is perfectly valid and probably the most common usage, but as your example shows, it may also be used without reference to illness.
    Think of it as simply 'out of bed and moving around'.

    Here is a definition of the idiom from an AE dictionary:
    Random House Unabridged
  4. Hi Agnès,

    In colloquial BE it means to be "up and doing (things)".

    Whenever I 'phone a friend early in the morning I always say, "Are you up and doing yet?" If I hear a sleepy "Mmm?" I say, "OK, I'll ring you later."

  5. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    Ooooooh, I see! Shame on me, I didn't think it was a set phrase. Mislead by my context, I saw up like: up from bed, and didn't know what to do with my about... :eek:

    Thank you all for your so kind help. :)
  6. padredeocho Banned

    United States
    Pretty standard, yes. It means the same as this: She's always out of bed, dressed, and taking care of business by six in the morning.
  7. sunyaer Senior Member

    Would you say "Are you up and about yet?"
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  8. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    up and doing seems to me to be a regional expression; I've never heard it.

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