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https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Line%20jumping Here in Urban Dictionary, a person used:

when you are at a amusement park when you've been waiting in line for a load of time, then someone walks past you claiming that their "friend" is up the line.

So here does "up the line" mean "on the line (or in the line)? Like: My friend is already on the line.

What will be more common "up the line" Or "on/in the line" (I know that the language is a bit vulgar..)

  • It should be at an amusement park. Incidentally, I wouldn't rely on Urban Dictionary as a source of authoritative information. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jul 9 at 6:17
  • @JasonBassford I know that it is wrong, but I just post what I read.... But my question way about "up the line". Does it sound okay? – It's about English Jul 9 at 6:22
  • I would not personally phrase it that way. I might say my friend is in line up ahead. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jul 9 at 7:02
  • And @JasonBassford what do you think about: "My friend is in the line up front." (Does "front" sound natural here?) – It's about English Jul 9 at 8:03
  • Up front also works in that context. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jul 9 at 17:02
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Up the line in this context means, that someone is closer to the beggining of the line than you are.

It can also mean, being on the front line during war, it gets it's name from the communication trenches (lines) used in the First World War that troops used to take their positions in the front lines.

All in all it is used as something or someone being higher in a linear hierarchy, wether it is a line to a shop, a chain of command or something else.

Examples:

And when you've finished with this article, pass it up the line.

The river moved out a couple of miles up the line.

The further up the line you get, the longer your time horizon becomes.

But, that was weak and 25 feet up the line.

He was in a small train just up the line.

The whole point is for the industry to take responsibility all the way up the line.

Then one staff member said he was going to make a few phone calls to management higher up the line.

He wanted to pass us up the line of responsibility.

And then he insisted on going eight hours up the line to see if it had really happened.

You left two men three hundred yards up the line.

  • Sure, that's what it means, but do you think it's idiomatic English? Can you give some examples of how it should be used, or perhaps some external sources that show this usage? I say this because I don't think it's at all idiomatic, although I'm happy to be proven wrong. – Andrew Jul 9 at 7:28
  • @Andrew It sounds fine to me. Maybe not the most common way to say it but I don't think it would catch my ear as strange. Also worth nothing that the opposite, "down the line," is commonly used to mean "in the future" in the context of a predictable chain of events, as in "It might cause problems further on down the line." I think the allusion there may be to assembly lines. – TypeIA Jul 9 at 7:48
  • @TypeIA With the additional examples I understand the context of this answer. I'm still not entirely comfortable using it to describe the relation of people in a queue, but as I said that's just my personal feeling, and I can see how it might make sense to other people. – Andrew Jul 9 at 7:55

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