key up(redirected from key them up)
To be energetic and excited, possibly with nerves. A noun or pronoun can be used between "key" and "up." It's Christmas Eve, and the kids are totally keyed up. Waiting for the doctor to call with my test results has really keyed me up.
Excited, nervous, or anxious. I'm so keyed up after that concert that there's no way I'm going to be able to fall asleep. Ben gets a little keyed up before he goes on stage, but once he's out there, he's completely in control.
key someone up
to cause someone to be anxious or excited. The excitement of the moment really keyed me up. Thoughts of their vacation keyed up the children so much they couldn't sleep.
*keyed up (about something)and *keyed up (over something)
to be excited or anxious. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) Why are you so keyed up about nothing? She is keyed up over her son's health.
Make intense, excited, or nervous. For example, The excitement of the gallery opening has really keyed her up. This usage alludes to key in the sense of "wind up a spring-driven mechanism such as a clock." [Late 1800s]
To cause someone to be intense, excited, or nervous: The coffee has really keyed me up. Thinking about the party tonight has keyed up the kids. The audience was all keyed up, waiting to find out who won the award.
1. mod. nervous; anxious. Sally was a little keyed up before the meet.
2. and keyed up to the roof mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. He was a mite keyed, but still technically sober. Tipsy, hell! I’d say keyed up to the roof!