What do you feel "up" in "eat up" and "wait up" indicates? Does it sound like "be quick" (eat up) or "I'll be quick" (wait up)?


The connotation is completion.

"Wait up!" means "wait a sufficient time for me to catch up".

If you eat something up, you don't just take a bite of it, you consume it entirely.

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  • I would say "wait up" means "don't go to bed until..." – Weather Vane Dec 16 '17 at 21:43
  • It can mean that too. But my example has an exclamation point, and is thus in the imperative voice. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 16 '17 at 21:43
  • I was going to edit, but then decided that up in your usage might not denote completion but the opposite of "down", i.e. not asleep. I will wait up for you. Don't come home too late. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 16 '17 at 21:49
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    Heh! I almost upvoted the first single sentence answer. The edit was confusion. Your last comment was better: completion. – Weather Vane Dec 16 '17 at 21:52

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