hit on girls vs pick up girls

MeBenji

Senior Member
French - France
Hi there!
When it comes to talking to someone expecting date/sex afterwards, what could be the difference between:

- This guy really enjoys picking up girls at parties.
and
- This guy really enjoys hitting on girls at parties.

I'd like to know if they mean exactly the same or not and, if one is more common than the other.

I need you help to clear this up.:confused: Thanks in advance.
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    "Hitting on" refers to approaching someone, striking up a conversation etc., usually with sexual intent.

    "Picking up" is what happens if the approach is successful, if the person who approaches the other gets a favourable response.

    Note that you need to be careful while using these terms. When someone is described as hitting on someone else, it often conveys an unfavourable impression of the person doing the "hitting on". Similarly, when you say someone picked up someone else, it sounds dismissive towards the person who was picked up.
     
    Last edited:

    DonnyB

    Member Emeritus
    English UK Southern Standard English
    "Hitting on" refers to approaching someone, striking up a conversation etc., usually with sexual intent.

    "Picking up" is what happens if the approach is successful, if the person who approaches the other gets a favourable response. .

    Note that you need to be careful while using these terms. When someone is described as hitting on someone else, it often conveys an unfavourable impression of the person doing the "hitting on". Similarly, when you say someone picked up someone else, it sounds dismissive towards the person who was picked up.
    Yes, I'd agree with all that, especially the fact that both expressions tend to imply that it's some sort of game or challenge that "this guy" plays for his own amusement.
     

    MeBenji

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Okay, so "picking up" is (for example) when the guy managed to get the girl's phone number? The act of "getting" the girl? And "hitting up" would just mean coming up to a girl and start the conversation??
     

    DonnyB

    Member Emeritus
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Okay, so "picking up" is (for example) when the guy managed to get the girl's phone number? The act of "getting" the girl? And "hitting up" would just mean coming up to a girl and start the conversation??
    No, I don't think so. Getting a girl's phone number would be the only first step in trying to pick her up. A successful "pick up" would, to my mind, imply phoning the number and getting her to agree to some sort of date or meeting.

    And it's "hit on [someone]", not "hit up". ;)
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    And "hitting up" would just mean coming up to a girl and start the conversation??
    "Hitting on" is more than just starting a conversation. It implies making an approach, letting the girl know you're interested in some sort of non-platonic interaction.

    To give you a couple of crude examples:

    Man sees woman at a party. He goes up to her and starts talking, and asks her if she has a boyfriend, and she says "No". He grins and says "Good to hear that".

    He's hitting on her.

    They talk and eventually she leaves with him and they go back to his home.

    He's picked her up.

    (Apologies to anyone who finds that sexist. As I said, they were meant to be crude examples.)
     
    Last edited:

    MeBenji

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Here we are! You guys tell me what I could expect as being very good explanations. I've been looking for the right translation in my language in fact.
    So we can assume that if a man picks up lots of girls, he is necessarily good at hitting on them!!

    Thanks again!
     

    DonnyB

    Member Emeritus
    English UK Southern Standard English
    What could be the equivalent of "hitting on" in BrE?
    Although it's North American in origin, I'm certainly familiar with it and I think it would be quite widely understood, at least by younger BE speakers.

    I'd say "make a move on" is probably the nearest BE equivalent, although "chat [her] up" would come pretty close in terms of a preliminary stage.
     
    Last edited:
    Top