put or pull yourself together

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Erik 182, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Erik 182 Senior Member

    Hi there,

    I do know that pull yourself together is a correct expression but what about put yourself together? Does it have any sense, the same meaning as using pull?

    Thank you
  2. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    I'm not a native so this is just to start the ball rolling.
    I think put oneself together (again) is merely an altered version of pull oneself together.
    Hence they mean basically the same.
    However, it seems that put oneself is more used in a physical sense (clothes, hair,....) and pull in a psychological sense.

    But please wait for native answers.
  3. mariposita

    mariposita Senior Member

    US, English
    I can't think of a context in which I would say put yourself together... I think I would say "fix yourself up" in the physical sense. Or say that someone is "put together".

    Pull yourself together:

    You're hysterical. Pull yourself together!
    I'm still sad about my dog dying, but I have to pull myself together and go to work.

    Fix yourself up:
    She's getting herself fixed up to go to dinner.
    I didn’t get (all) fixed up to eat at Burger King.

    Put together:
    She's always put together. She's so elegant.
  4. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    I only based my assumption on this, which is admittedly not much.

    Would you natives say (as is my guess) that put oneself together is a spreading neologism resulting from mispronounciation/misspelling of pull oneself together?
  5. mariposita

    mariposita Senior Member

    US, English
    Let's see...

    I can imagine that there could be instances when someone might say "I need to put myself back together" or I need "to put myself together". I would understand the metaphor and it wouldn't sound "wrong," though for me this isn't a common expression.

    I think it would have a slightly different meaning from pull oneself together.

    Pull oneself together implies that you are using your internal resources and fortitude to reconstitute yourself in a fairly sudden manner.

    Put oneself together seems more like reconstructing yourself piece by piece. Sometimes we say, put the pieces back together, after some life-shattering event:

    After my mother died, I had to gradually put the pieces of my life back together...

    I think one could also say:

    After my mother died, I had to put myself back together bit by bit.

    Also, more colloquially (means the same as pull yourself together):

    You are a mess. Get yourself together.
    You are a mess. Get it together.
  6. arueng Senior Member


    Is it the same to say "pull yourself up" instead of "pull yourself together" in the following example? Thanks.

    You're hysterical. Pull yourself together!
    You're hysterical. Pull yourself up!
  7. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "Pull yourself up" does not fit with "You're hysterical". I would stick with "Pull yourself together" here.

    I don't think I've ever heard "Put yourself together."
  8. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    I would say that put oneself together is not a spreading neologism but does result from mispronunciation/misspelling of pull oneself together.
  9. arueng Senior Member

    Thanks, SS, for the reply.

    Then what does "pull yourself up" mean and how should it be used?
  10. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    I can only think of it being used in the idiom,

    "He pulled himself up by his [own] bootstraps/bootlaces"

    i.e. He succeeded by using only his own resources. Used (only BE?) for people who start from a lowly background and rise up to be rich and famous.

    Of course there is the obviously literal meaning, "He fell down and pulled himself up by grabbing a branch."
  11. eni8ma

    eni8ma Senior Member

    English - Australia

    "Pull yourself together" - person is not thinking straight because of some emotional upset. (internal disarrangement)

    "Put oneself back together" - after a major upset. (can be a combination of emotional and external problems)

    "Get yourself together" - get yourself organised. (external disarrangement)
  12. Elwintee Senior Member

    London England
    England English
    Another possible use of 'pull oneself up' is when one suddenly realises one is about to blunder socially and stops oneself saying or doing something inappropriate. For example:
    "He was about to tell his pub joke to Mary when he pulled himself up, remembering that she had just lost her brother to alcoholism."
    I think 'pulling up' basically refers to restraining horses and bringing them to a standstill.
  13. arueng Senior Member

    Thanks, Paul and other helpful friends, for your help.

    I've got it.

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