Lace Up: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
November 24, 2023

The phrase "lace up" is often related to shoes or clothing with strings or cords. When someone talks about lacing up, they usually mean they are tightening or fastening something by pulling and tying these strings or cords. This term is quite straightforward and can relate to doing this action for oneself or for someone else.

In short:

  • It means to make shoes or clothes fit tightly by pulling and tying the strings or cords.
  • It can also refer to helping someone secure their shoes, clothes, or gear.

What Does "Lace Up" Mean?

When someone says "lace up," they're talking about fastening shoes, clothing, or equipment using strings or cords. If you're getting ready for a run, you might "lace up" your sneakers. If a friend is having trouble with their shoelaces, you might offer to "lace up" their shoes for them. It's an action that many of us do every day, often without thinking much about it.

Here are its main meanings and ways people use it:

  • It is a way to describe fastening or securing something with strings or cords, usually shoes or clothing.
  • It can be about doing this for oneself or helping someone else, like, "Can you lace up my boots for me?
  • Many athletes use this term when preparing for a game or workout. They might say, "Time to lace up and get going."
  • It's a simple action, but it's essential to make sure shoes or equipment fit correctly and safely.

Where Does "Lace Up" Come From?

This term was derived from the Old French word "laz," which meant "a net, noose, string, cord, tie, ribbon, or snare." The Latin root of this word is "laqueum" (with the nominative form being "laqueus"), which translates to "a noose or a snare." This Latin term was commonly used in trapping and hunting contexts. The verb form of "lace" appeared around the 1200s and meant "to fasten clothing with laces and ties." By the 1540s, "lace" was also referred to as "ornamental cord or braid," and soon after, it came to mean "fabric of fine threads in a patterned ornamental open net," which is a familiar definition today.

10 Examples of "Lace Up" in Sentences

To help you see when to use this term, let's explore some examples from different situations:

  • Every morning, as I lace up, I feel ready to run the day with enthusiasm.
  • At the start of the soccer game, he had to stop and lace up his cleats properly.
  • She asked her mom to lace up the back of her dress before the school play.
  • During winter, he takes extra time to lace up his boots to keep the snow out.
  • He took the time to lace up her shoes at the park. Who says chivalry is dead?
  • Before the boxing match, the trainer made sure to lace up the boxer's gloves securely.
  • She found a video online that showed her the best way to lace up her hiking boots.
  • To stay on top of her game, she'd lace up at dawn and practice for hours.
  • "I hear you," he said, pausing to lace up his boots before heading out to help her.
  • Winning the championship was the cherry on the cake, especially after all those early mornings she'd lace up and train.

Examples of "Lace Up" in Pop Culture

This term can be found in pop culture, especially when it relates to sports or activities requiring shoes.

Let's look at some examples:

  • The song "Lace Up" by MGK is an anthem that encourages listeners to get ready and face challenges.
  • In many sports movies, there's a moment where the protagonist takes time to lace up before a big game or event.
  • Fashion shows often feature models taking care to lace up unique footwear as a highlight of the outfit.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Lace Up"

Here are some phrases that convey a similar idea:

  • Tie up
  • Fasten your shoes
  • Secure your laces
  • Do up your shoes
  • Bind your shoes
  • Fix your laces
  • Tighten your shoes
  • Make sure your shoes are tied
  • Knot up your shoes
  • Loop and pull your laces

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Lace Up":

  • What does "lace up" mean?

"Lace up" refers to the action of tying or fastening the laces, usually on shoes or boots. Figuratively, it can also mean getting ready or preparing for something.

  • How can I use "lace up" in a sentence?

You can use it to talk about the act of tying shoes or getting ready for an event. For example: "Before the game, make sure to lace up your cleats." or "He laced up and headed out for his morning run.

  • Is "lace up" used mostly for sports?

While "lace up" is often associated with sports because of athletic shoes, it can be used for any footwear with laces, like casual shoes, boots, or even certain dresses.

  • Does it only apply to shoes?

Primarily, "lace up" refers to shoes, but it can also apply to other items with laces, such as corsets or certain types of clothing.

  • Can "lace up" be a call to action?

Yes, in a figurative sense, "lace up" can be a motivational call to get ready or prepare for a challenge.

  • How does "lace up" relate to fashion?

In fashion, "lace up" can refer to the design or style where clothing or shoes use laces as a decorative or functional element.

  • Is "lace up" used in any popular sayings?

Yes, a saying like "lace up and face the day" means to get ready and confront whatever challenges come your way.

  • Is it a modern term or has it been used for a long time?

"Lace up" has been used for a long time, as laced footwear has been around for centuries. The figurative use of the phrase is more modern.

  • Does "lace up" have different meanings in other cultures?

The literal meaning of tying laces is universal. However, the figurative sense of getting ready or preparing might vary depending on cultural context.

  • Is it common to hear "lace up" in daily conversation?

Yes, especially in contexts related to footwear or activities that require lacing up, such as sports or outdoor adventures.

Final Thoughts About "Lace Up"

The term "lace up" is a simple yet versatile phrase used both in its literal sense related to footwear and in a figurative sense indicating readiness or preparation.

Here's a quick recap:

  • It refers to tying or fastening laces, especially on footwear.
  • "Lace up" can also be a motivational call to action.
  • The term has fashion relevance and can be used in various contexts.
  • Both the literal and figurative meanings are helpful in daily conversations.

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