up and die


Senior Member
Hi there,
I'm reading The Last Sin Eater by F. Rivers.
An elderly lady describes the family history of one of the book characters in these words:
"Rose O’Sharon was her mother's name. She up and died of a spring. By her own hand, some say."
Can you help me with the meaning of the sentence in bold? Does it mean she died too soon like a flower that sprouts, blooms and dies before summer comes? Does "up" mean to grow in this sentence?
Thank you for any comment!
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    See this forum definition:
    1. [Informal.]to start up;
      begin something abruptly (usually fol. by and and another verb):Then he upped and ran away from home.
    I take it to mean that she died suddenly/unexpectedly.


    She up and died of a spring.
    She dies suddenly in the spring of a year.

    The phrase "up and [past participle]" is used to say that something was done quickly or unexpectedly. It can also mean that an active effort was made to do something. Here I take it to mean that the death was unexpected.

    Here are three earlier threads, including one on this very sentence:
    up and moved (This also refers to other threads)

    Bobby's daddy up and walked out on him (This also refers to other threads)



    Senior Member
    Barque, thank you very much. It's helped a lot. I forgot to check previous threads before posting my question. :)

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I was curious about the origins of it so I had a look online and found this (stackexchange.com).

    In that context, it’s (up) a verb, meaning, in the OED’s definition 'To start up, come forward, begin abruptly or boldly, to say or do something'. It can be inflected, but it is only used colloquially.

    The OED’s earliest citation for intransitive use in this sense is dated 1831 and shows a third person singular form: The bishop ups and he tells him that he must mend his manners. These three citations, from 1958, 1973 and 1979 show the past tense upped....