It is from this video. It is at 35 minute and 5 second.

If they were just hemorrhaging weight. Weight is literally coming off of then, like man I don't understand what is happening. One, I am going to get them worked up for cancer.

Does the doctor mean that he is going to check the patient if them have cancer? I am in doubt because dictionaries don't do that definition.

  • I think that's a misquote. Here's what I heard "One, I'm beginning to get them worked up for cancer". - it's very very fast, and you may have missed it. To get "worked up" about something means "to worry/be upset, in an emotional way". He used the word "for" here, which I think might just be a slip of the tongue. He probably meant "worked up about cancer".
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 19, 2023 at 12:01
  • Here's a definition I found for you: worked-up
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 19, 2023 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


Correct. 'Worked up" - He's going to have the patient go through a 'medically developed procedure or process' whereby the doctor orders specific tests to be performed on the patient to see if they have cancer or not.

There's actually two phrasal verbs in this sentence; "coming off" and "worked up."

Both have multiple meanings, so you should examine both. For worked up:

MacMillan Dictionary online provides three definitions:

  1. a. to develop a particular feeling b. work [yourself up] - to make yourself upset, excited, or nervous [about something]

  2. to develop something.

Assumptions: We can assume a doctor in their profession doesn't serve to upset, excite, or make a person nervous; rather, a doctor helps a person get better. Second, that a medical doctor treating cancer isn't concentrating a cure on fixing someone's feelings; but, curing a physical condition. This rules 1 a. & 1 b. out. Of all options for 'worked up' we can deduce 2. fits best.

When you look at definitions for phrasal verbs used in a sentence, identify the subject, verb, and object first. Go through a process of elimination with a reliable dictionary based definition to come to the meaning for the right one; or, simply do what you did--ask! Great job!

Ref: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/work-up Web. 25Feb2019

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