What's the meaning of "tell upon someone" ? any synonyms?
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MeiSam Kh What's the meaning of "tell upon someone" ? any synonyms?
A child might "tell on" another child when the second child has been naughty.
I have never seen "tell upon" -- do you have more context?
ok here is the full context :
" ...
‘You know, Pip,’ said Joe, solemnly, with his last bite
in his cheek and speaking in a confidential voice, as if we
two were quite alone, ‘you and me is always friends, and
I’d be the last to tell upon you, any time. But such a—’ he
moved his chair and looked about the floor between us,
and then again at me - ‘such a most oncommon Bolt as
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This is a use I"m not familiar with. Maybe it's British.
That passage is from "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens:


tell on someone

to report someone's bad behavior; to tattle on someone. If you do that again, I'll tell on you! Please don't tell on me. I'm in enough trouble as it is.
tell on somebody
to give information about bad behavior to someone in authority None of his friends told on Louie, not even when he slipped live grasshoppers into a mailbox.
I don't think 'tell upon' is any different from 'tell on' in this context.
Thanks. It seemed to be used as we used "tell on" but I thought while bratty American little brothers "tell on" their older sisters, perhaps British siblings "tell upon" each other.
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I doubt they do. The novel was first published in 1861, so 152 years ago. Also notice the dialectical (or perhaps archaic?) 'oncommon' -- definitely an uncommon word these days.
Yes, it's always helpful to know that the source material is more than 100 years old.

Tell Upon(affect adversely):I have warned him that heavy work will tell upon his health.

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