Belt up


      • telling someone to be quiet or stop talking
        To advise someone to stop talking or making noise, usually in a stern or forceful manner. Similar to "shut up" or "keep quiet."

      • fasten a seatbelt
        To physically secure a seatbelt around oneself or someone else in a vehicle, usually for safety reasons. Can also be used as a reminder to buckle up before starting a car journey.

      • be more careful or cautious
        To caution someone to be more careful or cautious in their actions or words, often in a scolding or critical manner. Can also be used in a more light-hearted way, such as reminding a child to be careful while playing.

    Examples of Belt up

    • The driver of the bus yelled "Belt up, folks!" before setting off.

      This is an example of using "Belt up" as a command, telling people to fasten their seat belts before the bus starts moving.

    • My sister's toddler kept talking loudly during the movie, so I gave her a warning and said "Belt up, sweetheart, or we're leaving!"

      Here, "Belt up" is being used as a stern warning, suggesting that if the child doesn't quiet down, they will have to leave the movie theatre.

    • I couldn't concentrate on my work because my colleague was chattering away on the phone. I politely asked her to "Belt up" and let me focus.

      Here, "Belt up" is used in a relaxed but assertive tone, letting someone know that it's time to be quiet so that others can focus on their work or tasks at hand.

    • While driving down a winding road, I suddenly braked the car and shouted "Belt up!" to my friend, who was sitting beside me without a seatbelt on.

      Here, "Belt up" is being used in a more urgent and safety-conscious context, as the speaker is alerting their friend to fasten their seatbelt for their own protection during a sudden braking manoeuvre.

    • The driver shouted "Belt up!" before he hit the accelerator.

      This statement is emphasizing that the driver reminded the passengers to put on their seat belts before starting the car.

    • My friend advised me, "Belt up or get off the ride!"

      This statement is in the context of an amusement park ride, where my friend is reminding me that either I put on the seat belt provided for safety or I should disembark from the ride.

    • The teacher scolded, "Unless you belt up, you'll have to leave the classroom!"

      In this example, the teacher is warning a student who is not following classroom rules to put on their seat belt, or else they will be required to leave the classroom because of the distraction caused by the student's lack of adherence to expectations.

    • The police officer signaled, "Belt up, I'm pulling you over!"

      In this case, the officer is asking the driver to put on their seat belt before being pulled over for a traffic stop, which could potentially result in further safety concerns.


    The idiom "belt up" has various meanings, all of which involve some form of caution or restraint. It can be used to discourage someone from engaging in a certain activity, to advise them to be more careful, or to physically secure a seatbelt. In all cases, the underlying intention is to promote safety and caution.

    Origin of "Belt up"

    The origin of the idiom "belt up" is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated in the early 1900s in reference to securing a seatbelt in a car or airplane. The phrase may have gained popularity during World War II when pilots were instructed to "belt up" before takeoff.

    Over time, the phrase evolved to also mean "shut up" or "keep quiet," likely due to the physical action of fastening a seatbelt being associated with silence and restraint. It may also have been influenced by the use of "belt" as a synonym for "hit" or "punch" in some slang dialects.

    Regardless of its exact origin, the idiom "belt up" continues to be used in various contexts to caution someone to be quiet or careful. It serves as a reminder to be mindful and responsible in one's actions and words.