lighten up and loosen up

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Neitzel553

Member
Paakantyi
lighten up and loosen up <-----Topic added to post by moderator (Florentia52)----->

Is there any difference between the two? They're both defined as relax, become or make less serious, tense or stern
 
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  • b4nny

    Senior Member
    English - US
    There does seem to be a difference in connotations and usage.

    "Lighten up" refers to a person changing his or her attitude/perspective of things in order to take them less seriously. Its primary usage (that I can think of) is in the imperative, though it could also be used in other situations. For example: "Hey, it's just a game. Lighten up!" "Our new manager was really strict at first, but after a few weeks she lightened up. Thank God."

    "Loosen up", on the other hand, seems to refer more to physical relaxation. I believe it can be transitive or intransitive. It could refer to stretching, or drinking a beer, etc. which results in releasing tension. For example, "He seemed very tense and quiet, but after a drink he loosened up quite a bit and told me about his day." Or, "When my legs feel stiff, I like to go for a quick jog around the block to loosen up." Or, "A massage should help loosen up your shoulders."
     
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    Neitzel553

    Member
    Paakantyi
    thank you. But isn't lighten up (or simply lighten) used transitively with mood, conversation, etc ? ---" I figured I'd slip in a few joked to lighten up the mood a little" , to give an example
     

    b4nny

    Senior Member
    English - US
    thank you. But isn't lighten up (or simply lighten) used transitively with mood, conversation, etc ? ---" I figured I'd slip in a few jokes to lighten up the mood a little" , to give an example
    You are correct. Somehow I didn't think of that usage. That sounds good to my ears.
     
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