Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

From an American sitcom Friends S05E13, SOURCE HERE

Monica: You know, I don't like to brag about it, but I give the best massages!

Chandler: All right, then massage me up right nice!

Monica was giving massage to Chandler.

I know massage could be used as a verb, but what's "up right nice"? I guess maybe in here, "up" goes with "massage", and "right nice" means "very nice"? But I've searched all the dictionaries I have, still didn't find the phrase "massage up".

share|improve this question
1  
The dialog in Friends often used awkward wording to emphasize the awkwardness of a situation. The character's difficulty in acting naturally is shown by their inability to speak naturally. A similar line from another episode that comes to mind is, "I'm very happy we're going to have all the sex." –  Ben Jackson May 17 at 17:14

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In OP's context, up is entirely optional - but it wouldn't normally be used, and the statement doesn't really mean much different whether it's there or not.

Arguably there are slightly stronger sexual overtones to including up, given that (in British English, at least) touch up / feel up can both mean to touch or caress (someone), esp to arouse sexual feelings.

Equally, right is just an "emphasiser" meaning very, and the adjectival form nice is commonly used in informal speech where strictly speaking it should be an adverbial form (nicely).

"All right, then massage me up right nice!"
=
"Okay, in that case [please] massage me really well!"

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you, especially for the word "up"! Now I know why he would use it. –  MarkZar May 17 at 13:41
    
@MarkZar: There are already strong sexual overtones to massage in the first place, and I'm sure everyone knows that many masseuses routinely offer a "de-luxe" service (including hand relief) for a premium price. –  FumbleFingers May 17 at 13:48
    
Yeah, I remembered that in Friends, when Phoebes first introduced herself as a masseuse, her little brother thought she was a prostitute, which is a misunderstanding. ;) –  MarkZar May 17 at 14:17
    
Just to add: in AmE, "feel up" has the same meaning you describe, but "touch up" means to make small changes to improve something (ex. "I touched up my makeup"). –  WendiKidd May 17 at 15:39
    
@WendiKidd: Yeah, BrE has that sense of touch up too. Originally I was only going to mention touch up, which I was pretty certain isn't very common in AmE. But in both usages, simply including up can change a neutral verb into a highly charged/sexualised slang term, which was the only reason for flagging them (up! :). On which subject, it's a moot point whether "Cover yourself up!" more strongly implies that you're showing "private" parts if you include the optional up. –  FumbleFingers May 17 at 15:53

"X me up" can be idiomatic for, roughly, "give me a X" (e.g. "call me up" for "give me a phone call").

"Right X" is just a vernacular intensifier (e.g. "get this done right quick" for "get this done without delay").

So in this case "massage me up" -> "give me a massage", "right nice" -> "do it well".

share|improve this answer
    
+1 Good answer Russell, some of the same stuff I was thinking about. And welcome to the ell.se! –  CoolHandLouis May 18 at 7:13

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.