# the meaning of stack up

• #### Franco-filly

##### Senior Member

A man who slept less than seven hours a day had a 25 per cent lower sperm count but a man who overslept (nine hours or more) was down 40 percent in sperm count.
That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger will stack up.

It means "It makes you wonder how his sperm-count will compare to that of men who sleep less than 7 hours a day."

#### kansi

##### Senior Member
sorry I still don't really get it.
I mean I understand the basic idea here.
Because of the research, we are able to know how a hongknogner's sperm -count is by comparing it to the sperm count of those who sleep less than 7hours.

is this what the sentence mean,right?
I mean how(meanin, in which way?) it will compare to it is like obvious. it's just to compare the hours both of them sleep. sounds like there are maltiple ways to compare but there is basically the one way to compare in this case?

If it were "how his sperm count will be compared to..", I would easily understand the idea here. But what the sentence means here is different?

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#### Franco-filly

##### Senior Member
I believe it's saying [and I've only read those 1 or 2 sentences so I could be wrong] "If it has been proved that a man who sleeps less than 7 hours has a low sperm count, imagine what that might mean for the sperm count of someone who spends even less time asleep. Is it going to be even lower?"

#### kansi

##### Senior Member
I believe it's saying [and I've only read those 1 or 2 sentences so I could be wrong] "If it has been proved that a man who sleeps less than 7 hours has a low sperm count, imagine what that might mean for the sperm count of someone who spends even less time asleep. Is it going to be even lower?"
Yup, I understand the same way. But I just don't get how the sentence means so.
like if I say:
Do you know how you compare them?
But here with the almost same stracture how A compare to B, a way of comparing them is just obvious,I believe?here, it is asking rather how it is after comparing them right?

#### kansi

##### Senior Member
is this will more like be able?

#### kentix

##### Senior Member
That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger will stack up.

That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger's sperm count will compare to these other numbers.

The sentence is saying, "it makes you wonder where on the existing scale they will fall." If we put their number on a graph, will it be higher or lower or in between those other numbers?

#### kansi

##### Senior Member
That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger will stack up.

That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger's sperm count will compare to these other numbers.

The sentence is saying, "it makes you wonder where on the existing scale they will fall." If we put their number on a graph, will it be higher or lower or in between those other numbers?
ahhhhhh I maybe understand that. A compares to B means that like how far A would be from B.it's like the position of B has been set on a scale then thinking how we put the postion of A on the scale.

#### ironman2012

##### Senior Member
That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger's sperm count will compare to these other numbers.
1. Does "that makes you wonder how A will compare to B" mean "that makes you wonder compared with B, how is A"?

Overall, said Marino, "dolphin brains stack up quite well to human brains." (From Science Is a Dolphin a Person? by David Grimm, Greg Miller on Feb. 21, 2010.)
2. Does the red part mean "compared with human brains, dolphin brains functions quite well?"

#### kentix

##### Senior Member
1. Yes
2. It means if we assume that human brains are at the top, which we always do, then dolphin brains compare favorably to human brains. They have many of the same or similar qualities/abilities.

#### Packard

##### Senior Member
I spent the last 15 minutes looking for the etymology of the phrase "stack up" meaning "to compare". It was nowhere to be found (in 15 minutes).

I do wonder where that phrase came from.

I did find a meaning for a "stacked deck" meaning that the odds were against someone, as a poker playing origin, but nothing at all on "stack up" meaning "to compare".

I do wonder where that phrase originated and how.

#### kentix

##### Senior Member
You have a bunch of identical coins. Your friend has a bunch of the same coins. Who has more money? It's easy to find out without counting. Just stack them up. Whoever has the taller stack has the most money.

#### Packard

##### Senior Member
You have a bunch of identical coins. Your friend has a bunch of the same coins. Who has more money? It's easy to find out without counting. Just stack them up. Whoever has the taller stack has the most money.
That makes sense. I could find no reference to that, but gold coins were very valuable and it is a quick way to compare the totals. It still sounds like a gambling origin to me. Where else do people stack up coins (or poker chips).

#### kentix

##### Senior Member
That sounds very plausible. A stack of poker chips.

#### ironman2012

##### Senior Member
dolphin brains compare favorably to human brains. They have many of the same or similar qualities/abilities.
Does "A compares favorably to B" mean "A is similar to B"?

#### kansi

##### Senior Member
That makes sense. I could find no reference to that, but gold coins were very valuable and it is a quick way to compare the totals. It still sounds like a gambling origin to me. Where else do people stack up coins (or poker chips).
So since it sounds a gambling origine, are we not supposed to use it in a daily conversation? or we definitely can use it but not that often since we have another often-used option, which is "A compares to B"?

#### kentix

##### Senior Member
No, there's nothing wrong with using phrases with a gambling origin, especially if people don't even know that or think about it.

Stack up is used frequently. It's another way to express that idea. There are probably others. Compare in that use can sound quite formal. Stack up is more casual.

#### Packard

##### Senior Member
I agree with Kentix. The only reasons I seek out the etymologies is that they often give an insight to the meaning, and they assist in helping to remember the meaning.

#### kansi

##### Senior Member
I agree with Kentix. The only reasons I seek out the etymologies is that they often give an insight to the meaning, and they assist in helping to remember the meaning.
I see. lt's a way to remember the meaning of a word easily. thank you!

#### kansi

##### Senior Member
No, there's nothing wrong with using phrases with a gambling origin, especially if people don't even know that or think about it.

Stack up is used frequently. It's another way to express that idea. There are probably others. Compare in that use can sound quite formal. Stack up is more casual.
oh okay. Compare in that use can sound formal. Stack up is rather more for a daily use. I'll keep it in mind.

#### lingobingo

##### Senior Member
The OED’s definition is:
To pile up one's chips at poker. Now usually figurative, to present oneself, measure up; to arise, build up. colloquial (chiefly U.S.).

The examples include:

1938 Sun (Baltimore), 6 Apr. 11/5 — I think every one will agree my record stacks up favourably enough with that of any other pro. past or present.
1951 M. McLuhan, Mech. Bride, 48/1 — See how you stack up with your fellow man on the following issues.
1965 P.G. Wodehouse, Galahad at Blandings, x. 169 — I've never been a brainy sort of guy, and what I want is a wife with about the same amount of grey matter I have, and that's how Vee stacks up.

#### Bahareh_12

##### Senior Member
Hello,
So, based on your discussion, does "stack up to" in the following sentence mean "compare to"?

In Finland, I’ve met many teachers who seem to adopt this abundance-oriented approach. They seem unfazed by how they stack up to other teachers, and that attitude infuses their work with a sense of joy. One of the clearest signs of this mind-set in action is the significant amount of collaboration I’ve seen in Finnish schools.
Thanks.

#### owlman5

##### Senior Member
Hello.
So, based on your discussion, does "stack up to" in the following sentence mean "compare to"?
Yes, it does.

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