early 14c. as a verbal phrase, "lift and take," from pick (v.) + up (adv.). Of persons, "make acquaintance or take along," especially for sexual purposes, 1690s. Meaning "cause (someone) to revive" is from 1857. Sense of "tidy up" is from 1861; that of "arrest" is from 1871; meaning "gain speed" is from 1922; meaning "to pay" (a check, tab, etc.) is from 1945. Pick-me-up "stimulating alcoholic drink" is attested from 1867.
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