Idiom – Bone up on
Bone up on – Idiom of the Day
To study something to acquire knowledge.
History dates back to 1846 when Henry George Bohn, a publisher in Britain, published the Bohn’s Libraries which contained information on various topics. The students used these books to prepare for their exams. Soon this practice was being called as “Bohning up” on topics for exam. The pronunciation of Bohn sounded very similar to bone and the idiom “ Boning up on” came into existence. The idiom was widely in use between 1850 to 1873
Teacher : You’ve scores are very low in Science.
Student : Yes mam. I need to bone up on it.
Teacher: Yeah. It’s time you do that.
Friend 1: I’m deputed to Assam for 6 months. I’m wondering how to get along there?
Friend 2: Buy a book on “ How to learn Assamese in 10 days” and bone up on it.
Friend 1: Ok. I will.
Student: I want to enroll for the piano classes.
Teacher: Please do. And don’t forget to bone up on basic music notes before you come for the classes.
Student: Sure, I will.
Go through the examples to understand the usage of the idiom:
1. The young scientist was boning up on the theory of relativity.
2. Jim was asked to reconstruct the house. So he decided to bone up on the plan of the house.
3. The new recruit was given some documents to bone up on.
4. The furniture sale has come down drastically . The sales team need to bone up on the marketing techniques.