Gird Up Loins: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
December 12, 2023

The phrase "gird up loins" means getting ready for a challenge or some hard work. You've probably heard people say this when preparing for something tough or that will need a lot of effort. This phrase comes from a period when people wore robes, and they would tie them up so they could move more easily.

In short:

  • It means to prepare yourself for something challenging.
  • It tells you to get ready to put in a lot of effort or face a tough situation.

What Does "Gird Up Loins" Mean?

The phrase "gird up loins" is about getting ready for something that's not going to be easy. If someone tells you to "gird up loins," they're saying, "Prepare yourself because something hard or challenging is coming your way."

Let's look at its main points:

  • The phrase means to get yourself ready for a difficult task or situation.
  • You hear it most often when you have to prepare for something that's not going to be easy.
  • It's often used to motivate or encourage someone facing a difficult situation.
  • Other ways to say it might include "brace yourself," "get set," or "prep up."

Where Does "Gird Up Loins" Come From?

The phrase "gird up loins" has been around for a long time. It comes from the Bible and old traditions. Back in those days, people wore long robes. When they had to do heavy work or go into battle, they would tie up their robes around their waist to move freely. The phrase has shifted from its literal meaning to a more symbolic one, telling us to prepare for something challenging.

Historical Example

"Gird your loins. Stand up like a man. Summon new strength; and pursue your work with resolution."

- A Sermon [on Jer. i. 17] preached at the installation of E. Kellogg, 1812

10 Examples of "Gird Up Loins" in Sentences

To help you understand when and how to use this phrase, here are some examples from different situations:

  • Welcome back, and gird up your loins; we have a lot of work to catch up on.
  • She had to gird up her loins before having a difficult conversation with her boss.
  • He had to gird up his loins every morning to face the daily grind of his job.
  • When the company announced layoffs, employees girded up their loins for the tough times ahead.
  • Girding up his loins, the athlete prepared for the most important race of his life.
  • Before the court hearing, she took a deep breath to gird up her loins.
  • The last man standing had girded up his loins, ready to face any obstacle.
  • The coach told the team to gird up their loins before the final match.
  • She rang me up last night and told me to gird up my loins for the big presentation today.
  • Knowing that the job interview was going to be tough, she girded up her loins beforehand.

Examples of "Gird Up Loins" in Pop Culture

This idiom often shows up in modern culture as a way to talk about getting ready for a challenge.

Here are some examples:

  • "Gird your loins!" is a memorable line from the movie "The Devil Wears Prada," used to alert staff that their demanding boss is arriving.
  • The hymn "Come, Come, Ye Saints" includes the line, "Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. All is well! All is well!"
  • Gird your loins! by Masahiro Tokuda: This is an original soundtrack from the TV series "DECA-DENCE."
  • Skill of the Week: Gird Up Your Loins - The Art of Manliness: The article explains how men in ancient times would "gird their loins" when preparing for manual labor or battle.
  • Woman, Gird Up Your Loins (Proverbs 31:17): The book is a study of Proverbs 31:17 that explores the meaning of "gird up your loins" in reference to women.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Gird Up Loins"

You don't always have to use this exact phrase. There are other ways to talk about getting ready for something tough.

Here are some of them:

  • Brace yourself
  • Get set
  • Prep up
  • Be ready
  • Get ready to rumble
  • Prepare for action
  • Buckle up
  • Get pumped
  • Steel yourself
  • Ready yourself

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Gird Up Loins":

  • What does "gird up loins" mean?

"Gird up loins" originally comes from the Bible and means to prepare yourself mentally or physically for some challenge. It suggests making sure you're ready to face whatever is coming.

  • How can I use "gird up loins" in a sentence?

You can use it when you're talking about getting ready for something tough or challenging. For example, "If you're going to talk to your boss about a raise, you better gird up loins." Or, "She girded up her loins before entering the courtroom.

  • Is the phrase mostly used in religious contexts?

Although it started in the Bible, these days people use it in all kinds of situations—not just religious ones. You'll hear it in both casual and formal settings.

  • Does it apply only to serious situations?

No, you can use "gird up loins" for anything that needs preparation, whether it's serious like a job interview or more laid-back like a sports game.

  • Is the phrase gender-specific?

No, it's not just for men or women; anyone can "gird up their loins" when they're getting ready for something.

  • Is it a common phrase in modern English?

It's not super common, but people still use it, especially when they want to emphasize the importance of getting ready for something.

  • Can it be used humorously?

Yes, sometimes people use it in a funny way to make something simple seem more important. Like, "gird up loins, we're going shopping!"

  • Does it only refer to mental preparation?

No, it can mean getting physically ready too, not just mentally. For example, "He girded up his loins before the big race."

  • Is it used in any famous quotes or literature?

Yes, besides the Bible, you'll find it in literature and speeches to emphasize the idea of preparation and courage.

  • What are some synonyms for "gird up loins"?

You could say "brace yourself," "get ready," "prep up," or "gear up" as alternatives to "gird up loins."

Final Thoughts About "Gird Up Loins"

The phrase "gird up loins" tells us to prepare for something coming up. It could be anything from a tough conversation to a physical challenge. It's a way to say, "Be prepared. Make sure you're up to whatever you're about to face."

Here's a quick recap:

  • It is a call to action, urging you to prepare for something.
  • The phrase has roots in religious texts but is used broadly today.
  • It doesn't matter if you're a guy or a girl—anyone can "gird up their loins."
  • It can be used in a funny way, but usually, it's used to stress the importance of being prepared.

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