BYU-Corpora Digs 1 – Rock up

The corpora one can access through the BYU interface [] range from US Soap Operas to British Parliament Speeches, from historical English in the US in the 1800s right up to yesterday’s news on the web in 20 countries round the world.

This allows interested parties a number of ways to look at some language in use.

A recent story about UK politics reports on a politician using the follow language:

No, I just rocked up and then waved at the CCTV.


This use of rock up seems worthy of a little attention. So my thought is what information can we get about the use of rock up using the corpora at BYU?

I’ll post my thoughts in a few weeks. Thanks for any consideration : )


  1. Ah yes so what does BYU-interfaces show us? Rock up when it appears with a pronoun, as in the example “No, I just rocked up..” means to appear or arrive at some place.

    I used the following search term –  [pp*] [rock].[v*] up

    In COCA there are only two hits with the meaning we are looking for. []

    A GLOWBE search is more interesting as it shows a tendency for Australians to use this expression and it tends to appear more in blogs than general websites. []

    A search on the NOW corpus shows a couple of hundred occurrences, though not checked if all these have the meaning we are interested in. []. Further there seems to have been a peak in use in August 2015. []. NOW also shows significant uses in Irish web news.

    Although there are only 5 occurrences in CORE, there is a significant use in Travel Blogs.

    The handful of hits in COHA do not have the meaning we are interested in. There are no hits in TIME, SOAP, WIKI, CAN or HANSARD corpora.

    So our searching suggest that Australians and Irish use this and the contexts of use are informal. This could fit in with the campaign strategy of the politician who used this phrase, i.e. to appear likeable and “normal”.

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