pick someone up

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Siavash2015

Senior Member
Iranian-Persian
Dear natives;

Does the phrasal verb "pick <someone> up" has a sexual meaning in the following?


1:Are you trying to pick me up?No, I never picked up anybody in my life!

2: She went home with some man she picked up in a bar.

Can't It be used when for example one sees a lady/man and go over to to talk her/him in order to start dating ( not necessarily sex)

Thanks a million for your usual kind help.:)
 
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  • cyberpedant

    Senior Member
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I don't think "sex" lies very far from "dating." "Pick someone up" is simply a rude expression for "get acquainted with someone," and if it takes place in a bar or at a social gathering of some sort, it usually has the connotation of starting a "relationship."
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    It depends on the context. If you say, "I'm going to pick up my kid from school," it simply means you intend to go to your young child's school and bring the child home. Similarly, you might pick up a friend or relative from the airport when he or she has flown from a distant city to visit you.

    But in your examples—yes, there's a sexual meaning.

    P.S.: We don't use "sb" to mean somebody; it's neither a word nor a standard abbreviation in English. It's used only in texting and in some "learners" dictionaries.
     

    Siavash2015

    Senior Member
    Iranian-Persian
    Thanks awfully for both of you for your usual help.:)

    So we can't use "pick up " for starting a serious relationship?
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    It's the first time they've met. It can't be serious.
    Exactly. It could become a serious relationship later, but it isn't now.

    However to pick up someone in this context, means to ... well, to go on a date with them at the least, but it strongly implies casual sex. And this is someone you do not know. You have only just met this person and you invite him or her to go out with you.

    "2: She went home with some man she picked up in a bar." This means, she met a man in a bar and went to his home. We presume she had sex with him.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    If one takes the time to take a look at "http://www.wordreference.com/definition/pick up" you can find that "pick up" has many meaning that have no relation to sex.

    GF..

    see:- http://www.wordreference.com/definition/pick up

    to take on (casually) as a passenger: [~ + up + object]They picked up some guy hitchhiking on Interstate 40.[~ + object + up]They picked some guy up on Interstate 40.

    Context is everything when "pick up" is being used..........

    Today we went to a nosh up that was organised by the commune for the older people in our village. We picked up one of our neighbours and took him to the restaurant. The food was good.....
     

    Siavash2015

    Senior Member
    Iranian-Persian
    Hi all.
    Sorry I have one more question:
    I came across a context in a movie someone says to his friend;

    hey let's go to the park and pick up some girls. ( in this context casual sex is obvious)

    Is there really a context in which" pick up" imply a serious romantic relationship?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Is there really a context in which "pick up" implies a serious romantic relationship?
    No, because by definition, you're connecting with a stranger, someone you've never met before.

    Of course you can use "pick up" in the other sense (see post #3) to refer to someone with whom you already have a serious romantic relationship: "I'm picking up my girlfriend at her office after work, and we're going to meet another couple for dinner."
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Hi all.
    Sorry I have one more question:
    I came across a context in a movie someone says to his friend;

    hey let's go to the park and pick up some girls. ( in this context casual sex is obvious)

    Is there really a context in which" pick up" imply a serious romantic relationship?
    Once more... To understand what pick up means is so dependant on the context.. It could imply casual sex or not.
    Going to the park and picking up someone can develop in many, many different way...

    GF..

    Never assume too much without extremely good evidence.. Especially if you don't understand the 'local street language'...
    Context etc.......
     

    Siavash2015

    Senior Member
    Iranian-Persian
    Added to previous thread.
    Cagey, moderator

    Hi everyone.
    Say I were looking for a serious relationship and I were to go to a particular place to find a girl. Can i say to my friend "I'm going there to pick up a girl"

    I presume "pick up" is only used when our intention is "meeting to have sex" am I right?
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Say I were looking for a serious relationship and I were to go to a particular place to find a girl. Can I say to my friend "I'm going there to pick up a girl."

    I presume "pick up" is only used when our intention is "meeting to have sex" am I right?
    If you were looking for a serious relationship, you would not use "to pick up a girl."

    At the same time, the phrasal verb is not necessarily concerned with having sex. It means "to find a girl" what happens thereafter is down to the two parties.

    However, as a warning, "I'm going there to pick up a girl." should be avoided unless you know how to use the sentence. You stand a good chance of appearing crass, mindless, and uncaring by objectifying females - something that is heavily discouraged and disapproved of by society in the West.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Hi everyone.
    Say I were looking for a serious relationship and I were to go to a particular place to find a girl. Can i say to my friend "I'm going there to pick up a girl"
    The phrase used for this situation is "I'm going there to try to meet a girl". "Meet" implies a relationship between equals, and "try" avoids bragging. Both terms fit "looking for a serious relationship".

    I agree with the warnings above. Literally "pick up a girl" means to (1) meet a girl and (2) start a dating relationship with her. But the phrase has additional meanings (which sometimes apply):

    - that she quickly agrees to date you
    - an imbalance: you did the "picking up", so you were in control
    - a short-term relationship: from a single night to a few weeks
    - "not special". Some guys "pick up" a different girl each weekend.
    - "pick up" is often used to mean "meet to have sex", as OP mentions
     
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