stitch up

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See also: stitch-up

English[edit]

A young woman with her sewing kit in Germany in the 1940s

Verb[edit]

stitch up (third-person singular simple present stitches up, present participle stitching up, simple past and past participle stitched up)

  1. To join or close by sewing.
    • 1750, W[illiam] Ellis, The Country Housewife's Family Companion: Or Profitable Directions for Whatever Relates to the Management and Good Œconomy of the Domestick Concerns of a Country Life, According to the Present Practice of the Country Gentleman's, the Yeoman's, the Farmer's, &c. Wives, in the Counties of Hertford, Bucks, and Other Parts of England: Shewing how Great Savings may be Made in Housekeeping: [...] With Variety of Curious Matters [...] The Whole Founded on Near Thirty Years Experience, London: Printed for James Hodges, at the Looking-glass, facing St. Magnus Church, London-Bridge; and B. Collins, bookseller, at Salisbury, OCLC 837728611, page 157:
      To make Capons [] [S]ome for this Purpoſe make it their Buſineſs after Harveſt-time to go to Markets for buying up Chickens, and between Michaelmas and All-hollantide caponize the Cocks, when they have got large enough to have Stones [i.e., testes] of ſuch a Bigneſs that they may be pulled out; for if they are too little, it can't be done; [] [M]aking a Cut here big enough to put her Finger in, which ſhe thruſts under the Guts, and with it rakes or tears out the Stone that lies neareſt to it. This done, ſhe performs the very ſame Operation on the other Side of the Cock's Body, and there takes out the other Stone; then ſhe ſtitches up the Wounds, and lets the Fowl go about as at other Times, till the Capon is fatted in a Coup, which is commonly done from Chriſtmas to Candlemas, and after.
    • 1822 February, “Blaise Fitztravesty” [pseudonym], “Another Ladleful from the Devil's Punch Bowl”, in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, volume XI, number LXI, Edinburgh: William Blackwood, Edinburgh; and T[homas] Cadell, Strand, London, OCLC 631932349, page 160:
      My second poem is a metrical advertisement of all Lord Byron's works; and for drawing it up, Mr Murray ought, I am sure, to be grateful to me, for it will save him I know not what in paper and printing, as there is little doubt of its being got by heart by all those for whom he stitches up his announcements.
    • 1885, Journal of the American Medical Association, volume V, Chicago, Ill.: American Medical Association, ISSN 0002-9955, page 333:
      Dr. Baer replied that he closes the cyst puncture with Well's clamp forceps when the cyst wall is strong enough. In some cases he stitches up the opening, or ties a string below it when the cyst walls are loose and soft.
    • 1917, “All India Reporter”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name), Nagpur, India: All India Reporter, ISSN 0002-5593, page 200:
      Applicant purchasing cranes with stitched up eyes—Bird's eyes found to be stitched up and bleeding while it was being conveyed by rail—Cruelty was caused by antecedent stitching up of eyes and not by manner of carriage—Obiter—It may well be that process of stitching up eyes of cranes is cruel practice.
    • 1994, Pat Ashforth; Steve Plummer, Woolly Thoughts: How to Unlock Your Creative Genius, London: Souvenir Press, ISBN 978-0-285-63196-0, page 34:
      Poor making up can ruin a perfect piece of knitting. Put as much thought and effort into the assembly of the pieces as you did into knitting them. [] Do not be tempted to use thread for stitching up. It will pull your knitting out of shape and may even break if you make a sudden movement when you are wearing the garment. [] The only other equipment you will need for stitching up is pins.
    • 2008, Tim Rushby-Smith, chapter 26, in Looking Up: A Humorous and Unflinching Account of Learning to Live Again with Sudden Disability, London: Virgin Books, ISBN 978-0-7535-1386-6, page 227:
      Up at the spinal unit, rumour has it that they've laid their hands on the right set of spanners this time, so hopefully I'll be stripped down, stitched up and ready to roll by the end of June.
    • 2009, Elsa Sacksick, “‘As Ye Shall Sew, Ye Shall Rip’: The Aesthetics of Stitching Up in The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy”, in Claude Maisonnat; Josiane Paccaud-Huguet; and Annie Ramel, editors, Rewriting/Reprising in Literature: The Paradoxes of Intertextuality, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4438-1254-2, page 74:
      Yet, once more, the ripping of words and sentences is counterbalanced by a patching up process. Indeed, thanks to an overflowing of compound words, [Arundhati] Roy is also stitching up words, recomposing her text from its fragments; and the more tattered language is, the easier is it to patch it up, as if the verbal profusion and creation were a way of compensating the profusion of holes and rents.
    • 2011, Susan Lynn Peterson, Clare: A Novel, 2nd edition, Tucson, Ariz.: Alcuin House Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9830652-2-7, page 38:
      “No, Tom,” I said, “as much as I'd like to, I can't let him bleed.” / “No, I mean you could stitch it up. Mrs. Sullivan stitched up Wally that time one of the north-side boys laid him open with a chair leg.” / “And what do I know about stitching up heads?” I said. / “It will be just like stitching up clothes, I would imagine,” Tom said. “Any old woman can do that. How hard can it be?” / “And what would you know about stitching up clothes?” I replied sharply.
  2. (Britain, slang) To maliciously or dishonestly incriminate someone; to set up (in the sense trap or ensnare)
    • 2000, John King, Human Punk, London: Jonathan Cape, ISBN 978-0-224-06048-6, page 282:
      [] everyone knew the score, that he was being conned, used by business interests, the sort of scum we hated. It wasn't meant in a bad way, though, just that we could see he was being stitched up.
    • 2015, Roger Williams, “1970s Stitch-ups”, in Rough Justice: Citizens' Experiences of Mistreatment and Injustice in the Early Stages of Law Enforcement, Sherfield on Loddon, Hook, Hampshire: Waterside Press, ISBN 978-1-909976-18-4, page 75:
      You might think policing in the 1970s was different to policing today. [] However, some things haven't changed all that much particularly if you were 18 at the time as my correspondent, who we'll call Geoff, found. The sad fact is that you never forget being stitched-up and the experience can affect your negative judgment of and attitude to the police for the rest of your life.

Related terms[edit]