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I was wondering about the meaning of:

I am down with something.

Also, I was wondering whether people say:

I am up with something.

If so, what does it mean?

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The expression down with something means to be against something in the English of England. –  bob meehan Jul 20 at 2:12

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you are down with something it means that you have knowledge of something or are in agreement with it. I'm down with science means "I am familiar with science" or "science is a good thing." To be down with something is a slang phrase, and not terribly common in formal speech or writing.

You could also speak of having a disease, sometimes preceded by the verb to come if the sickness hasn't yet fully taken hold. eg. I am coming down with a cold. or She is down with the flu.

To be up with something is only used in the imperitive, eg. up with the king! — meaning hey, that king is pretty great. Or: up with ice cream! (Yay! Ice Cream!) You would never say I am up with something. That wouldn't be proper english. Although you could say I am up to something, you sneaky little devil, you. (In case it's not clear, "I am up to something" means "I have an ulterior motive I don't wish to reveal.")

If you are addressing someone directly who is presently seated, you could use a command: up with you! (stand up.)

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I don't recognise the first meaning of "down with" in this answer. Is it American? –  Colin Fine Mar 25 '11 at 12:39
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@Colin: Yes, but I don't personally think "knowledge" is the right focus. "I am down with X" would more commonly mean "I like X." –  MrHen Mar 25 '11 at 16:10
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@ghoppe You down with O.P.P.? –  Uticensis Mar 25 '11 at 16:21
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@Billare yeah you know me :) –  ghoppe Mar 25 '11 at 16:55
    
@MrHen I'm down with that interpretation. ;) But I still think, depending on the subject, that there's an element of familiarity when you use the phrase. To be "down with" something means not only that you like it, but that you have experience with it. –  ghoppe Mar 25 '11 at 17:00

Other than a literal interpretation I am down/up [here] with a hammer (and this would be rather questionable with regards to grammar), "down with" is slang for a handful of subtly different meanings.

I am down with [subject].

I am down with [person].

I am down with that.

I am down with [location].

More often than not, these mean "I am in agreement with" but the type of object matters quite a bit.

I am interested in and think this subject is cool.

I really like that person. (Platonically.)

I am ready for that / I can do that / Let's go do that

I like this location / That location is good

I am not familiar with "I am up with". It would not surprise me to hear someone using it as a slang version of "I am down with" for emphasis. "I am so down I am up."

More commonly, both phrases can be used with "for" in place of "with":

I am down for some pizza

I am up for a movie

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If the 'something' is an illness or malaise, then "I am down with the lurgy" means that I am suffering from an illness and normally that I am in bed and hence not getting up, so staying down.

I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "I am up with something". In a wholly different context, "I am up on something" means I've studied something and know something about what it is all about.

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===== "Up with" =====

"I'm up with James." --> "I'm here with James." (where the current value of 'here' is any place that can be perceived by the listener as either 'upwards' or 'uptown', relative to the listener's current location)

"I'm up with the dawn." --> "I'm risen from bed at the same time the dawn occurs."

"Up with you!" --> archaic form, similar to "Get up!"

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protected by tchrist Aug 13 at 14:46

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