I am getting difficulty in deducing the meaning of idiom tracked up in the given diction below,
( paragraph below is taken from the NYTimes editorials ) :

...the Boston Global to do more than enumerate the scope of the scandal by reporting on cases involving scores of abusive priests. The scandal was tracked up the church hierarchy to Cardinal Bernard Law, who eventually had to resign his leadership when the news media, not the church, documented his role as a protector of abusive priests...

Kindly help me in understanding the meaning of the sentence in bold letters above and the meaning of "tracked something up" idiom metamorphically.

From this link -> http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/track+up
All I understood is, It means spoiling something (maybe a surface) by your dirty feets

How can apply this meaning to above paragraph?

1 Answer 1


The verb is track, not track up.

  • To follow the tracks of; trail: tracking game through the forest.

The meaning is that the scandal lead to the most important people in the church hierarchy up to Cardinal Bernard Law.

The scandal was tracked, (up the church hierarchy), to the Cardinal Bernard Law.

  • Thanks for the explo..!! :) I got it now. Just one more doubt will the bold sentence implicitly imply that church reputation is affected or spoiled? Feb 14, 2016 at 16:31
  • @CoolToshi45 - I'd say that it does.
    – user66974
    Feb 14, 2016 at 16:46

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