English Idiom – Pull your socks up or Pull up your socks.

Meaning – To do better. To make a real effort to improve. If you pull your socks up you try even harder to do something or achieve something. This expression is usually used when somebody is not trying hard enough because they have been lazy or careless.

If you tell someone to put a sock in it your are telling them (quite forcibly) to be quiet.


When could you use this idiom?

  • You are telling a student or child to try harder, because they are in danger of failing their exams.
  • A person at work has become lazy and needs to improve their performance.
  • A player in your football team is not making sufficient effort to support their teammates.


  • “You are going to have to pull your socks up and study more because your final exam is next week and you are in real danger of failing!”

In The News:

If anyone can demand New Zealand’s National party pull its socks up, it is Judith Collins


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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