earliest recorded sense is "to drive and catch (swans)," 1560, from up (adv.). Meaning "to get up, rise to one's feet" (as in up and leave) is recorded from 1643. Sense of "to move upward" is recorded from 1737. Meaning "increase" (as in up the price of oil) is attested from 1915. Cf. Old English verb uppian "to rise." Upping block is attested from 1796.