Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

shake (-) (up/down)

shake upshake-upshake downshakedown
Meaning(s)
1) upset or frighten someone, a notable change or reorganization of something, extort or blackmail someone, thoroughly search someone/something
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • shake things up/shake someone down
  • Analysis

    To 'shake up' is a phrasal verb with two meanings. If someone is 'shaken up' they are physically or emotionally disturbed by something. To 'shake up' something can also mean to undergo an extreme rearrangement or change. To 'shake down' is a colloquial, informal phrasal verb meaning to get money from someone, usually using extortion or questionably legal means. To 'shake down' a place can mean to search it thoroughly. A test of a new product, model or design is also known as a 'shakedown' as well as a temporary or improvised bed.

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. After the accident, Julie was very shaken up and needed the support of her friends.
    2. The airport security guard shook me down to make sure I wasn't trying to bring anything illegal onto the plane.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Under the ambitious new owner, the company is undergoing a radical shake-up.
    2. Our daily staff meetings were becoming boring, so I decided to shake things up a little by moving them outside.
    3. The company was accused of using bribes and shakedowns to secure a lucrative deal in the developing country.
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