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A noun or pronoun can be used between "cook" and "up."
1. Literally, to prepare food by cooking it. Are you hungry? I can cook something up for you.
2. To devise something. In this usage, the phrase often has a negative connotation. What ridiculous scheme has Sam cooked up now?
3. To plan to do something with someone. Have you been able to cook anything up with the boss yet? We really need to meet about this issue soon.
Forced, artificial, or contrived. The phrase is hyphenated when used before a noun. The dog ate your homework, huh? Now there's cooked-up excuse!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
contrived. (This is hyphenated before a nominal.) The whole thing seems so cooked up. What a cooked-up story! Of course, you don't believe it.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
mod. contrived. (This is hyphenated before a nominal.) The whole thing seems so cooked up.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.