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I often utter the phrase 'Man up', or I talk about 'taking it like a man' or earning 'man points' (that last one, not so much, but I hear it still). I don't want to keep doing this, for obvious reasons; It's a bad habit, but I find myself saying it anyway.

Is there a better way of getting across that I'm 'manning up' or I expect someone else to 'man up'? Could I replace 'man' in those phrases with some other word, X and say something like 'Taking it like a(n) X'? Or should I just use a different phrase?

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Could whoever decided to downvote explain? I'm open to all ideas on this. –  Pureferret Oct 18 '12 at 23:56
Oh, well, you can always imitate the PC feminists and alternate between Man up! and Woman up!, or the PC egalitarians and say Person up!, or a reasonable speaker and say Grow up! I think that adult or grown-up are two reasonable substitutes for man in those cases, even though they may not sound good in every context. Orwell would say that using such clichés simply prevents you from thinking or relieves you from having to think about what you're saying in such a case. –  user21497 Oct 19 '12 at 0:48
If you want to continue in a sexist, risque vein, you could say grow a pair. Let's not. –  bib Oct 19 '12 at 2:09
Feel happy to say "Man up" frequently, and not "Man down!" –  SF. Oct 19 '12 at 9:32
Last year’s movie “Zombieland” even showcased the provocative tagline “Nut up or shut up.” [On Language: The Meaning of ‘Man Up’ nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magazine/05FOB-onlanguage-t.html?_r=0] –  Kris Aug 1 '13 at 10:29

2 Answers 2

"Man up" is one of those phrases that can be intended to mean so many different things. Sometimes there is an intention to refer to a 'male' stereotype, sometimes there isn't. It sounds like you are looking for the latter. Here are some possibilities to start you off...

  • Get/grow a spine.
  • Stand up for yourself.
  • Assert yourself.


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"Get up, stand up. Stand up for your rights." –  user21497 Oct 19 '12 at 3:15
That's what I'm after. From now on I'll try to use these instead. –  Pureferret Oct 19 '12 at 6:52
Now I think about it, 'Pull your socks up' would be a good phrase as well. –  Pureferret Oct 19 '12 at 6:56

The concept is take responsibility, so why not say it.

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