gussy up

gussy

[guhs-ee] Informal.
verb (used with object), gussied, gussying.
1.
to enhance the attractiveness of in a gimmicky, showy manner (usually followed by up ): a room gussied up with mirrors and lights.
verb (used without object), gussied, gussying.
2.
to dress in one's best clothes (usually followed by up ): to gussy up for the ball.

Origin:
1935–40; of obscure origin

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World English Dictionary
gussy up (ˈɡʌsɪ)
 
vb , -sies, -sying, -sied
slang chiefly (US) to give (a person or thing) a smarter or more interesting appearance
 
[C20: probably from the name Gussie, diminutive of Augusta]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gussy
"to dress up or decorate in a showy way," 1952, Amer.Eng. slang, apparently from Gussy (1940), schoolyard slang name for an overly dressed person, perhaps related to gussie (1901) "effeminate man," and somehow connected to the nickname for Augusta and Augustus.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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