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In this article of the Financial Times, we can read the following sentence:

“I think it’s really important that we avoid two mistakes here: the first is to do Russia’s job for them by bigging it up; I haven’t seen in the UK any occasion where this stuff has made a strategic difference. Secondly, and related, I think we should keep this in proportion. The Russians did not create the things that divide us — we did that.

My question is what is the meaning of «bigging it up» ?

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Big up (tr, adverb) slang to make important, prominent, or famous. we'll do our best to big you up Collins Dictionary

So:

the first [mistake] is to do Russia’s job for them by bigging it up

means "the first mistake is to do Russia's job for them by giving it greater prominence or by drawing attention to it".

("Them" here refers back to Russia, and is plural because "Russia" is acting as a metonym for the Russian government, which is a collective noun that can be treated as plural in British English.)

| improve this answer | |
  • "Big up" is former street slang which has entered the mainstream; compare 'sex up' common in the UK to mean 'make more interesting or exciting' e.g. sex up a story or report, not necessarily with anything to do with sex. especially carries the meaning 'make something more attractive than it really is by selective presentation'. – Michael Harvey Sep 30 at 21:36

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