to up sticks??


Senior Member
I cannot seem to understand what is meant by the highlighted bit below: I can't find in the dictionaries...

In 1993 Andorra, across the Catalan border, upped sticks from France and Spain and voted itself into the United Nations.
  • french4beth

    Senior Member
    I wonder if this is related to camping - when you break camp (i.e. pack up to go), you have to pull up the stakes (sticks) that you used to secure your tent in order to pack up your tent (and leave).

    Here's a post I found:

    Re: To pull up stakes
    The version I've heard (UK) is "up sticks" - I think it came from the days of horse travel where the 'picket' was a rope strung from sticks/stakes where the horses were tethered. To 'up sticks' was to depart for a fresh pasture/camping ground.
    Found here:


    UK English
    "to up sticks" is to completely move away, such as to move house, and it suggests quite rapid movement.
    So in your example "[people] upped sticks from France and Spain..." could mean the people left France and Spain to live elsewhere, although it seems more metaphorical in the meaning they moved from being part of France and Spain into the United Nations as a country in their own right.