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Related to mug up: cram
mug it up
To make silly or exaggerated facial expressions, especially when being filmed or photographed. I wish you wouldn't mug it up like that every single time I try to take your picture. I just want one photo where everyone is smiling nicely! She really stole the show, mugging it up for the camera in every scene she was in.
1. To study through intense rote memorization. Primarily heard in UK. The professor always tells his students not to mug up ahead of exams. I mugged up my whole way through college, but now I can hardly remember anything I learned.
2. To memorize something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "mug" and "up." Primarily heard in UK. We all mugged the lines up and recited them like parrots, without ever really thinking about what they meant. I'd rather help my students learn how the language is actually used, rather than pressuring them to mug up the precise grammatical rules and terms.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.