Talk:suck it up

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


The following claim was added without references:

The origin of the expression "Suck It Up" comes from WWII pilots. If a pilot happened to vomit into their Oxygen mask, they had to "suck it up" otherwise, they would breathe the acidic fumes into their lungs and die. The expression actually means to choose the lesser of two evils. "Suck up your vomit and live OR breathe in the acidic fumes and die."

It sounds dubious to me — both the biological claim, and (even if the biological claim is true) the resulting etymological claim, especially since there are so many plausible alternative origins. (E.g. "suck up your stomach", which is attested in military contexts from 1907, albeit only in a literal sense.)

Further, when I tried to find any references or other evidence for this claim, I came up empty.

RuakhTALK 13:40, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the expression from WWII pilots may well be true. When on oxygen due to altitude the temperature was so cold that the aviators had to continually squeeze the rubber pipe due to condensation from their breath freezing in their oxygen system pipes. When the pipes block lack of oxygen caused anoxia. Anoxia caused aviators gunners etc. to become delirious and irrational before coma and death after about 20 minutes. Airsickness was quite common (Read Harry H Crosby book "A Wing and a Prayer" about 8th USAAF Bloody 100th - great book! Vomiting into an Oxygen mask at altitude would potentially have fatal consequences if it should freeze. It sounds a very plausible etymology especially with the attitude of senior officers expecting the men to "do or die" for some 25 - 30 "suicidal" bombing missions that constituted a tour of duty. "Suck it up!"—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 13:09, 25 June 2013‎ (UTC).

Now the entry claims "Probably a variation of the expression 'suck up your chest,' meaning roughly 'compose yourself, bear your troubles, stand tall, and proceed.'" This seems dubious to me, since google books:"suck|sucking|sucked up his|her|my|your chest" has pretty much nothing.​—msh210 (talk) 18:18, 30 December 2015 (UTC)