I have come across the phrase "get all up in something" in Crash Course Anatomy & Physiology. It is at around the 2nd minute. Here it goes:

Although physicians and artists have been exploring human anatomy for centuries, histology, the study of out tissues, is a much younger discipline. That is because, in order to get all up in a body's tissues, we need microscopes.

I have checked all the meanings of the phrasal verb get up has, but none fits.

2 Answers 2


To "get all up in something" is relatively recent slang (no more than 15 years old), and should probably not be used in any formal context. Roughly translated it means "to get extremely (possibly uncomfortably) close to something or someone".

She was getting all up in his face, shouting, "You'd better stop messing around and start treating me right!"

Without additional distinction (i.e. "get all up in that") you can probably assume some kind of crude sexual connotation.

In the source you mention the author uses it ironically, possibly in order to make the text feel more accessible to young people. In my opinion it's awkward, like someone who has never been cool who uses a certain slang (incorrectly) to try to sound more cool ... but other people might like it.

  • Yes, but not here. It is not the slang term. it is using the slang term to mean: getting into the bodies tissues, viewing them properly. it's just sloppy usage.
    – Lambie
    Mar 11, 2018 at 19:39
  • 3
    @Lambie. If the author had just said "get up into ..." then I could agree with you, but "get all up into ..." seems a clear attempt to use this particular slang. There is no non-slang reason to include "all" in this phrase.
    – Andrew
    Mar 11, 2018 at 19:54
  • I'm thinking this was a attempt to hit some millennial slang terms in order keep teens and highschoolers engaged. Some of these younger education courses tend to try and use slang and hip terms to engage kids.
    – Element115
    Mar 11, 2018 at 20:05
  • It is slang and but it is used incorrectly. It is taken from Black English: to get up into someone's face, to get all up into something. The meaning is generally what you said: get too close to a person or meddle in someone's business. If you are doing something "properly", you would not be getting all up into it and certainly not something biological. It just sounds ignorant (of the right meaning of this slang or Black English usage) and stupid, frankly.
    – Lambie
    Mar 11, 2018 at 20:18
  • Also, there is no big difference in slang between: get up into something and get all up into something. Neither has the meaning the author of that text on tissues wants to ascribe to it, to mean: examine closely. Normally, it's be something like; "Why you gettin' all up inta ma business or face?"
    – Lambie
    Mar 11, 2018 at 20:21

According to the context it can be: study/figure out/examine sth carefully/closely, to have a thorough/exact/clear/close understanding of sth

  • 1
    This contradicts the other answer. Can you edit to explain your response further?
    – mdewey
    Jun 5, 2022 at 13:48

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