pull up v. pull over a car [origin]


Senior Member
Czech Republic, Czech

Can you help me understand the origin and maybe the subtle differences between the two please?

I understand:
  • pull up – to (suddenly) stop a car
  • pull over – to stop by the side of the road, or to be ordered by a cop to stop your car
Why are there two phrasal verbs, is the meaning so different? It seems almost the same to me.
Up/over – what's the origin of these suffixes here, does it have anything to do with the reins of a horse?

Thank you
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    You could 'pull up' more or less anywhere on the road. But you can 'pull over' only to the side of the road.

    I suspect that if you start asking why we have so many words with similar, or identical, meanings, your quest will never end. :D
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