spark up

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spark up

1. To begin or initiate something, especially a conversation, argument, or . A noun or pronoun can be used between "spark" and "up." I sparked up a conversation with the man sitting next to me, and it turned out that he had gone to high school with my college roommate. What are the odds? The president's actions have been sparking up debates and arguments around the country about its ethics.
2. To ignite a tobacco product in order to smoke it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "spark" and "up." If you absolutely have to spark up after dinner, please go do it outside. I'll always remember my father sitting in his great big armchair sparking cigars up as he watched television into the night.
See also: spark, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

spark up

v.
1. To initiate some conversation, friendship, or debate: On the train, I sparked up a conversation with the person next to me. The trial sparked a debate up over free speech.
2. To light some cigarette, cigar, or similar product: He lit a match and sparked up his pipe. She took a cigar from the case and sparked it up. The smokers went outside to spark up.
See also: spark, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
Once or twice of a night we would see a steamboat slipping along in the dark, and now and then she would belch a whole world of sparks up out of her chimbleys, and they would rain down in the river and look awful pretty; then she would turn a corner and her lights would wink out and her powwow shut off and leave the river still again; and by and by her waves would get to us, a long time after she was gone, and joggle the raft a bit, and after that you wouldn't hear nothing for you couldn't tell how long, except maybe frogs or something.