But I'm so strong an' capable-like for fishing as them that's bolt upright, on'y I 'ouldn't ha' done for the Navy.
Her head was slightly bent, but the rest of her young figure was bolt upright.
Miss Walbrook let the paper fall, sat bolt upright, and listened.
There was an urgency in the sound that brought him bolt upright from his pillow in alarm.
bolt upright, and looking very like a Savage indeed, stood Jack Newcombe.
At Welton's invitation he sat, but bolt upright at the edge of a chair.
She was bolt upright herself, and wrath flamed in her own eyes.
In the back parlor six pallbearers sit upon chairs, all of them bolt upright, with their hands on their knees.
He glanced up at him as he sat there bolt upright on his horse looking straight to his front.
Slowly he drew up a chair to where Amory sat, bolt upright and robed in her consciousness of rectitude, on the sofa.
Old English bolt "short, stout arrow with a heavy head;" also "crossbow for throwing bolts," from Proto-Germanic *bultas (cf. Old Norse bolti, Danish bolt, Dutch bout, German Bolzen), perhaps from PIE root *bheld- "to knock, strike" (cf. Lithuanian beldu "I knock," baldas "pole for striking").
Applied since Middle English to other short metal rods (especially those with knobbed ends). From the notion of an arrow's flight comes the lightning bolt (1530s). A bolt of canvas (c.1400) was so called for its shape. Adverbial phrase bolt upright is from late 14c.
from bolt (n.) in its various senses; from a crossbow arrow's quick flight comes the meaning "to spring, to make a quick start" (early 13c.). Via the notion of runaway horses, this came to mean "to leave suddenly" (early 19c.). Meaning "to gulp down food" is from 1794. The meaning "to secure by means of a bolt" is from 1580s. Related: Bolted; bolting.