Submitted by Amos Anon on May 27, 2014

“up on top” vs. “up top”

My wife (from northern Virginia) uses “up top” where I would use “up on top”. For example, where I (from Wyoming) would say that “the box is up on top of the refrigerator”, my wife leaves out the word “on”, and she would say that it is “up top of the refrigerator”. She (and her family) are the only people I know who do this, and this leads me to believe that it is a regionalism. Is it?

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I would say, "It's on top of the fridg". The 'up' isn't needed. Or ... if we both knew we were talking about the fridg, one could "It's up top." Still, I'd likely say 'on top'.

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Thank you for the responses. I realized (or, for you Brits, realiSed) that I should have also mentioned that in additon to using "up top" for "up ON [THE] top", my wife and her family also use it for "up AT THE top". For example, "The title of the essay is up top of the page". Again, I wonder if this peculiarity (well, it seems peculiar to my Colorado-based friends and me, at least!) is a common regionalism in Northern Virginia, where my wife was raised.

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To avoid such an interpretation the way to put it is "had a meeting with", perhaps?

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The US version "met with" clearly suggests a meeting.
The Brit version is not so clear; it could have been a chance encounter:
"Hey there Harold!"
"Ike! Fancy meeting you here".

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As Americans like to leave out prepositions in terms like "up top", and "out front" where Britons like to say "up on top" and "out in front", it is interesting that Americans like to say "meet with someone" while Britons like to say "meet someone", in this case putting in a preposition, which is the opposite practice. American: 'President Eisenhower met with Prime Minister Macmillan in Nassau today'. British: Mr Macmillan met President Eisenhower in Nassau today'. (American usage also likes to bandy titles, Soviet Union-style, tellingly, in this way. Britons dislike this practice, and avoid its use.)

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As a Brit, I'd just say fridge. But if it was a very, very tall fridge, I might just conceivably say 'up on top of'.

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As a Brit, I'd just say, "on top".

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