Etymology
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pop (n.1)

"a hit with a smart, explosive sound," c. 1400, of imitative origin. Meaning "effervescent carbonated beverage" is from 1812.

A new manufactory of a nectar, between soda-water and ginger-beer, and called pop, because 'pop goes the cork' when it is drawn. [Southey, letter, 1812]

Sense of "ice cream on a stick" is from 1923 (see popsicle). Meaning "the (brief) time of a 'pop'" is from 1530s. Pop goes the weasel, a country dance, was popular 1850s in school yards, with organ grinders, at court balls, etc.

pop (adj.)

"having popular appeal," 1926, of individual songs from many genres; 1954 as a noun, as genre of its own; abbreviation of popular; earlier as a shortened form of popular concert (1862), and often in the plural form pops. Pop art is recorded from 1957, said to have been in use conversationally among Independent group of artists from late 1954. Pop culture attested from 1958, short for popular culture (which is attested by 1846).

To dismiss him [Johnnie Ray] out of hand one would have to share (as I can't) that facile contempt for "pop" culture, and by implication "pop" audiences, which is the principal flaw of that ambitious new musical, "Expresso Bongo." [Kenneth Tynan, "At the Theatre," The Observer, May 11, 1958]

pop (n.2)

"father," 1838, chiefly American English, shortened from papa (1680s), from French papa, from Old French, a children's word, similar to Latin pappa (see papa). Form poppa is recorded from 1897.

pop (v.)

mid-15c., "to strike so as to cause to make a short, quick sound;" intransitive sense "make a short, quick sound" is from 1570s; imitative. Of eyes, "to protrude" (as if about to burst), from 1670s. Sense of "to appear or to put with a quick, sudden motion" (often with up, off, in, etc.) is recorded from mid-15c. Baseball sense of "to hit a ball high in the air" is from 1867. To pop the question is from 1725, specific sense of "propose marriage" is from 1826. Related: Popped; popping.

updated on October 06, 2020

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