rustle up


verb (used without object), rustled, rustling.
to make a succession of slight, soft sounds, as of parts rubbing gently one on another, as leaves, silks, or papers.
to cause such sounds by moving or stirring something.
to move, proceed, or work energetically: Rustle around and see what you can find.
verb (used with object), rustled, rustling.
to move or stir so as to cause a rustling sound: The wind rustled the leaves.
to move, bring, or get by energetic action: I'll go rustle some supper.
to steal (livestock, especially cattle).
the sound made by anything that rustles: the rustle of leaves.
Verb phrases
rustle up, Informal. to find, gather, or assemble by effort or search: to rustle up some wood for a fire.

1350–1400; Middle English rustlen (v.); compare Frisian russelje, Dutch ridselen; of imitative orig.

rustlingly, adverb
unrustling, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rustle1 (ˈrʌsəl)
1.  to make or cause to make a low crisp whispering or rubbing sound, as of dry leaves or paper
2.  to move with such a sound
3.  such a sound or sounds
[Old English hrūxlian; related to Gothic hrukjan to crow², Old Norse hraukr raven, crow1]
adj, —n

rustle2 (ˈrʌsəl)
1.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) to steal (cattle, horses, etc)
2.  informal (US), (Canadian) to move swiftly and energetically
[C19: probably special use of rustle1 (in the sense: to move with quiet sound)]

rustle up
1.  to prepare (a meal, snack, etc) rapidly, esp at short notice
2.  to forage for and obtain

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"to emit soft, rapid sounds," late 14c. (implied in rustling), of uncertain origin, perhaps imitative (cf. M.L.G. ruschen, M.Du. ruusscen, Ger. rauschen "to rustle"). The noun is attested from 1759. Meaning "steal" (especially cattle) first attested 1882, probably from earlier Amer.Eng. slang sense of
"move about vigorously" (1872), perhaps a separate word, compounded from rush and hustle.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

rustle up

Get together food or some other needed item with some effort, as in I don't know what we have but I'll rustle up a meal somehow, or You boys need to rustle up some wood for a campfire. The verb rustle here means "to assemble in a hurry." [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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