Words are my business.

I love them dearly, but sometimes, they can be perplexing, confusing, and downright ornery.  Here’s one word, a tiny one, that conveys my meaning with its myriad meanings.

The tiny word is UP.  And it has more definitions and uses than a giraffe has spots.  In the dictionary it takes UP, ahem, half a page to define. Let us count the ways UP is employed.

We wake UP in the morning, go outside and look UP at the sky.

We stand UP.  We sit UP.

We speak UP at meetings, write UP reports.

We can be UP to a task or not.

We warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.

UP can be an adverb, an adjective, a preposition, a noun, or a verb.  See if you can pick those out.

We dress UP for an occasion, lock UP the house and walk UP the street.

We call UP our friends, fix UP an old car, brighten UP a room with flowers.

We can stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite or think UP excuses.

We open UP a drain that’s stopped UP.

We open UP a store in the morning and close it UP at night.

It can cloud UP and rain, then clear UP for the sun to shine.

When it doesn’t rain, the earth dries UP.  When it does rain, the earth soaks UP the water.

A candidate can be a runner-UP in an election.

We can pick UP a box, or move UP a ladder.

Then there’s that great animated film, UP, about a flying house and . . . well, never mind.

I think you get the idea. If you have more definitions for UP that I missed here, or, perhaps other similar words, please share!