Everyone knows what a “one upper” is right? Well for those of you who don’t, let me enlighten you..
According to the folks at urban dictionary:
A “one upper” is:
A person who feels like they need to be better than everyone else, so they constantly “one-up” anything that anyone says. See the definition here.
Chad: Dude, I got a V-6 Mustang today, its Lime Green!
Todd (the “one upper”): Oh, but I got a Roush ‘Stang with a supercharger thats laying down 400 to the wheels dawg.
Chad (to himself): What a one upper!
So, usually, when you say someone is a “one upper” it’s negative thing..But that all changed when I came to Lebanon. You see, aside from speaking three languages in one sentence, the Lebanese have this habit of “one upping” each other in their daily speech without even knowing they’re doing it!
Let me demonstrate:
Upon entering work, Mirna says to Maya:
Mirna: Bonjour! (Hello!)
Maya (the nice “one upper”): Bonjourein! (Hello times two!, or Hello Hello!)
When entering an apartment complex, Sarin says to the caretaker:
Sarin: Marhaba! (Hello)
The Caretaker (the nice “one upper”): Marhabtein! (Hello times two!, or Hello Hello!)
When getting into a taxi, Olfat says to the driver:
Olfat: Ahlan! (Hello)
Driver: Ahlein! (Hello times two!, or Hello Hello!)
then, the driver says…
Driver: Service? (One taxi, one stop?, “Do you only want to pay me 2 lira to go to Achrafieh from Hamra? REALLY?”)
to which Olfat quickly replies, right before he drives off…
Olfat (the nice “one upper”): Nam, servicen! (No No, I’ll pay you for two taxis (two stops), I’ll pay you 4 lira!”)
The Lebanese: revolutionizing the way the world views “one uppers.”