Etymology
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gang (v.)

1856, from gang (n.). Related: Ganged; ganging. To gang up (on) is attested by 1919.

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gang (n.)

from Old English gang "a going, journey, way, passage," and Old Norse gangr "a group of men, a set," both from Proto-Germanic *gangaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Danish, Dutch, Old High German, German gang, Old Norse gangr, Gothic gagg "act of going"), of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE root *ghengh- "to step" (source also of Sanskrit jangha "shank," Avestan zanga- "ankle," Lithuanian žengiu "I stride"). Not considered to be related to go.

The sense evolution is probably via meaning "a set of articles that usually are taken together in going" (mid-14c.), especially a set of tools used on the same job. By 1620s this had been extended in nautical speech to mean "a company of workmen," and by 1630s the word was being used, with disapproving overtones, for "any band of persons traveling together," then "a criminal gang or company" (gang of thieves, gang of roughs, etc.). By 1855 gang was being used in the sense "group of criminal or mischievous boys in a city." In American English, especially of slaves working on plantations (1724). Also formerly used of animal herds or flocks (17c.-19c.). Gangway preserves the original sense of the word, as does gang-plank.

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up (n.)

"that which is up," 1530s, from up (adv.). Phrase on the up-(and-up) "honest, straightforward" first attested 1863, American English.

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up (adv.)

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.

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up- 

prefix with various senses, from Old English up (adv.), corresponding to similar prefixes in other Germanic languages.

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gang-bang (n.)

1953, "group sex" (especially many men on one woman or girl, regardless of consent), from gang + bang (v.) in its slang, "perform sexual intercourse" sense. Earlier was gang-shag (1927). Sense of "participate in a street gang" is by 1968. Related: Gang-banger; gang-banging.

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Stern gang (n.)

militant Zionist terrorist organization (officially Lohame Herut Yisra'el "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel") founded 1940 by Avram Stern (1907-1942).

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chain-gang (n.)

"a number of slaves or convicts chained together outdoors doing labor or during transit," 1816, from chain (n.) + gang (n.). 

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press-gang (n.)

"detachment under command of an officer empowered to press men into public service," 1690s, from press (v.2) + gang (n.).

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up (v.)

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).

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