To convey "wait a second" I always thought that "hold on" was the right phrasal verb. However I saw an American cartoon yesterday repeatedly using "hold up" to express the same. Is that correct or was it just part of the parody?

1 Answer 1


Both ‘hold up’ and ‘hold on can be used to ask someone to wait.

“Hold up for a second.”

“Hold on while I finish this.”

  • Technically speaking, the two do have different meanings. ‘Hold up’ is used to ask a person to stop or make a delay and ‘hold on’ is used to ask a person to wait. However, the two words are used interchangeably. There is not much difference between asking someone to wait and asking them to stop.


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