"pop the question", 1722; antedates 1725

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Nov 9 17:27:14 UTC 2012

"I should be very glad to know your Sentiments whether it would be
improper for the Lady to pop the Question first: If you give it by a
negative Answer and it has any good Effect, Upon Honour, I will give
you a Pair of the best Gloves the Town affords, besides a Piece of
Plumb-Cake at my Wedding."

[The male writer is too bashful to tell the lady he loves her, and
although he believes she loves him her feminine modesty prevents her
from saying so first.]

New England Courant, 1722 April 9, 1/2.  By Mr. Gardner (according to
Ben Franklin).

Antedates OED3 (Dec. 2006) "pop, v.1" sense 4.a (for "to propose
marriage") 1725--.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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