What is the origin of the term "taking a rise"?

the Oxford English Dictionary dates the first use as in 1703 with a suggestion the term was originally Scottish - but I wonder how the term came to be used.

I saw it used in a 1923 book I am reading - "Whose Body" - by Dorothy L Sayers - and it reverberated with me as I have not heard it used in recent times.

Nowadays, I suppose folk are more likely to say "You're taking the piss" at least in my part of England.

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3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Never heard of it.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It's still fairly common in the US as "get a rise out of someone" meaning to annoy or provoke them enough to get a reaction. 

    That's also sometimes used as a show biz term referring to stirring up an audience, which led me to think it was like raising the dead. Probably wrong.

  • 2 months ago

    It probably comes from a fish rising up to take the bait.  More like 'winding you up' than 'taking the piss', which isn't necessarily intended to get a rise out of you.

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