I was just watching a documentary a few days ago of the most famious boxing match's ever the "Thrilla in Manilla"(between joe frazer and Mohammed Ali), quite an interesting and motivating vedio to watch.

Well in the 13th round (the fight from the 3-13th round was dominated by Joe frazer.) Joe frazer really had Ali against the ropes and was hammering him with right and left hooks, uppercuts and what not , now in the documentary , one of the commentators famiously said

"He(Frazier) was't just 'beating Ali' , he was 'BEATING Ali UP' !!" .

I did't quite understand what that statement meant , whats the difference between "beating Ali" and "beating Ali up" ? Can anybody explain ?

Thank you.

  • 2
    Beat X can mean to win in a sport against X; beat up X means to physically beat X, usually with serious injuries. Oct 3, 2015 at 15:48
  • In your specific context, the commentator intends beat to be understood as get the better of, win (a competitive engagement), which he effectively "puns" against beat up meaning deliver severe physical punishment, cause injury by repeated punching / beating / etc. Oct 3, 2015 at 15:49
  • @FumbleFingers thanks , makes much more sense now ! i was very curious to know what it meant ! Oct 3, 2015 at 15:50
  • "Up" has a connotations of "great intensity" and "completeness". You use "finish up your meal" when expecting someone to empty the plate completely. He was beating Ali with heavy force to complete the match.
    – user140086
    Oct 3, 2015 at 15:52


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