Old English bringan "to bear, convey, take along in coming; bring forth, produce, present, offer" (past tense brohte, past participle broht), from Proto-Germanic *brangjanan (source also of Old Frisian branga "attest, declare, assure," Middle Dutch brenghen, Old High German bringan, German bringen, Gothic briggan). There are no exact cognates outside Germanic, but it appears to be from PIE *bhrengk- (source also of Welsh he-brwng "bring"), which, according to Watkins, isbased on root *bher- (1) "to carry," also "to bear children," but Boutkan writes, "We are probably dealing with a Germanic/Celtic substratum word."
The tendency to conjugate this as a strong verb on the model of sing, drink, etc., is ancient: Old English also had a rare strong past participle form, brungen, corresponding to modern colloquial brung.
To bring about "effect, accomplish" is from late 14c. To bring down is from c. 1300 as "cause to fall," 1530s as "humiliate," 1590s as "to reduce, lessen." To bring down the house figuratively (1754) is to elicit applause so thunderous it collapses the theater roof. To bring forth "produce," as young or fruit is from c. 1200. To bring up is from late 14c. as "to rear, nurture;" 1875 as "introduce to consideration." To bring up the rear "move onward at the rear" is by 1708.
"that which is up," 1530s, from up (adv.). Phrase on the up-(and-up) "honest, straightforward" first attested 1863, American English.
Old English up, uppe, from Proto-Germanic *upp- "up" (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon up "up, upward," Old Norse upp; Danish, Dutch op; Old High German uf, German auf "up"; Gothic iup "up, upward," uf "on, upon, under;" Old High German oba, German ob "over, above, on, upon"), from PIE root *upo "under," also "up from under," hence also "over."
As a preposition, "to a higher place" from c. 1500; also "along, through" (1510s), "toward" (1590s). Often used elliptically for go up, come up, rise up, etc. Up the river "in jail" first recorded 1891, originally in reference to Sing Sing, which is up the Hudson from New York City. To drive someone up the wall (1951) is from the notion of the behavior of lunatics or caged animals. Insulting retort up yours (scil. ass) is attested by late 19c.
prefix with various senses, from Old English up (adv.), corresponding to similar prefixes in other Germanic languages.
1550s, "to drive and catch (swans)," from up (adv.). Intransitive meaning "get up, rise to one's feet" (as in up and leave) is recorded from 1640s. Sense of "to move upward" is recorded from 1737. Meaning "increase" (as in up the price of oil) is attested from 1915. Compare Old English verb uppian "to rise up, swell." Related: Upped; upping. Upping block, used for mounting or dismounting horses, carriages, etc., is attested from 1796 (earlier was horsing-block, 1660s).
c. 1300, "dwelling inland or upland," from up (adv.). Meaning "going up" is from 1784. From 1815 as "excited, exhilarated, happy," hence "enthusiastic, optimistic." Up-and-coming "promising" is from 1848. Musical up-tempo (adj.) is recorded from 1948.