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WotD - Teaser - Brit Speak — LiveJournal

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Today’s WotD is in honour of the ubiquitous Assistant!Jo, who is well versed in this art:
wind up (PHRASES)
Brit. Informal tease or irritate.
ORIGIN Old English, go rapidly, twine; related to WANDER and WEND.

Pronounciation guide: Wind as in mind as opposed to the wind that blows!

To wind up is to tease, for example by telling a false story designed to elicit a particular reaction, for example telling someone in a block of high rise flats that their lifts were to be disabled to encourage fitness

A wind up merchant is London slang for someone who makes a habit of teasing people on a regular basis (eg Assistant!Jo … just saying)
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Date:November 26th, 2009 02:15 pm (UTC)

Wind up

I had thought it derived from "wound up like an 8-day clock," which means agitated, tense, upset, and/or excited. Another user-contributions slang dictionary entry mentions winding up a clock. I cannot see how the present meaning of "wind up" would derive from "go rapidly," wander, or wend. I would love to find a researched answer that describes "how it got from there to here," but no luck so far. Perhaps it is one of those that are lost in obscurity, like "the whole 9 yards."
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