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Pony up

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  • Pony up is an idiom of uncertain origin, some believe that the term dates back to the sixteenth century. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will look at the meaning of the term pony up, where it may have come from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

    Pony up means to pay money, to pay what one owes, to make good a debt. The term pony up is said to date back to the sixteenth century. It is said to be a corruption of the Latin phrase legem pone, a term found at the fifth division of Psalm 119, a bible passage which was sung on March 25th. March 25th was a Quarter Day, and was the first payday of the year. This convoluted explanation for the term pony up suggests that the term originated in Britain, though today it is almost exclusively used in the United States. Related terms are ponies up, ponied up and ponying up.

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    Examples

    The Palestine City Council wants businesses in the downtown area to pony up to add a railroad crossing arm at Magnolia Street off of Spring Street. (The Palestine Herald Press)

    One of those alleged practices, according to Davis’ suit, called for Clerk’s Office administrators and supervisors to pony up $100 and $50 in cash, respectively, every August for Welborn’s birthday gift. (The Advocate)

    That’s right, starting soon, San Luis Obispo taxpayers are going to have to pony up another $8 million a year to CalPERS to cover rising costs for public employee pensions. (The San Luis Obispo Tribune)

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