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<   No. 4846   2022-10-31   >

Comic #4846

1 Prof. Jones: Did I ever tell you about the geologist friend of mine who had a poor time here in Alexandria?
2 Emily: Belt up, everyone! Here we go!
3 Monty: Will seat belts really help us if the plane crashes?
4 Emily: No. I was telling you all to shut up so I don’t have to hear any of these inane stories while concentrating on taking off.

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Sorry to any American English users, because apparently neither of the meanings of the phrase "belt up" are common in that dialect. At least according to my research, where both meanings are labelled as British usage.

"Belt up" meaning "shut up"/"stop talking" is attested in UK usage from around 1937, apparently originating as slang in the Royal Air Force[1].

When car seat belts were made compulsory in the UK in 1983, news outlets co-opted the slang and told drivers and passengers to "belt up". Whereas in the USA, not having the phrase "belt up" already in the vernacular, people are instead reminded to "buckle up".

[1] See how important it is for everyone to shut up when a pilot is trying to fly?

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