...spent three weeks HOLD UP in a small room

Li'l Bull

Senior Member
Spanish (Spain)
Hi, native speakers of English!

I've been listening to a podcast about a US journalist (John Howard Griffin) who decided to live as a black man by taking a pigment-altering drug in 1959. There is a sentence containing what sounds like a phrasal verb. However, it has me puzzled because I would expect the past participle "held" instead of "hold". Anyway, I don't really understand how the verb "hold up" fits in this context. I'll transcribe the sentence in question for you:

"Griffin spent three weeks HOLD UP in a small room in New Orleans waiting for the drug to take effect."

What I understand is "hold up", but as you can see it doesn't make much sense here. Can anybody help me out?

Thank you in advance.
  • Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    In this case, it's not "hold up" but HOLED up.

    • 1 make a hole or holes in.
    • 2 Golf hit (the ball) into a hole.
    • 3 (hole out) Cricket (of a batsman) hit the ball to a fielder and be caught.
    • 4 (hole up) informal hide oneself.


    Senior Member
    It's an error - it should read "holed up," which is an idiom that means "hidden away" or "sequestered." The sentence is saying that Griffin kept himself hidden while waiting for the drug to take effect.

    (Cross-posted with Miss Julie)
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