Get up in one’s grill

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The phrase get up in one’s grill is an American idiom. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase get up in one’s grill, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

To get up in one’s grill means to be extremely confrontational, verbally or physically, or to cover an opponent closely while playing a sport. If you get up in one’s grill, you are aggressive or hostile. In American hip-hop culture slang, a grill is a plate molded to the teeth, usually decorated with diamonds or gold. The term grill has expanded to mean someone’s mouth or face. The definition may be based on a comparison to the front grille of a car. The expression to get up in one’s grill or to get all up in one’s grill came into use in the 1990s and is still quite popular. Related phrases are gets up in one’s grill, got up in one’s grill, getting up in one’s grill.


“I had one woman on my Facebook say she was going to get up in my grill,” he said. (The Richmond Times-Dispatch)

She gets into a fight with a male nurse named Chris about whether he threw her under the bus in front of hospital administrators and then picks another fight with Adrian because he didn’t defend her when Chris supposedly “got up in my grill,” something MTV’s editors conveniently don’t show, allowing viewers to draw their own conclusions about what really happened in the altercation. (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“I made sure he was uncomfortable,” said Napolitano. “I got up in his grill.” (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Will sees in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent attempt to keep people from drinking sodas of the capacity of the Exxon Valdez a parallel to those spoilsport climate-change types who got all up in his grill when he wrote something stupid about that topic a while back…. (Esquire Magazine)