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"You're my rock of Gibraltar"

Posted by Smokey Stover on December 21, 2006

In Reply to: "Your my rock of gibaltar" posted by Becca on December 21, 2006

: how knows where the saying "your my rock of gibaltar" comes from.

For a very long time, people have described as a rock something that gave them a sense of safety, a sure foundation. OED, s.v. rock:

"1526 TINDALE Matt. xvi. 18, I saye..that thou arte Peter. And apon this roocke I wyll bylde my congregacion. 1535 COVERDALE Deut. xii. 37 Where are their goddes, their rocke wherin they trusted?"

Although very often the metaphor relates the support and sure foundation of Christ and the Christian religion, it is not always so: "1633 P. FLETCHER Purple Isl. XII. lii, Be thou my rock, though I poore changeling rove."

The Rock of Giraltar is, as you know, a somewhat spectacular formation in the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. It is often called just The Rock. It was known to the ancient Greeks as one of the two Pillars of Hercules. It is connected to the Spanish mainland by a mile-long low isthmus.

To say "you're my Rock of Gibraltar" is to use the biggest rock one can think of as a metaphor for the feeling of support and confidence that you give them. (The Prudential Insurance Company has long used a picture of the Rock of Gibraltar to symbolize the sureness of the support they give their customers.)

  • Victoria S Dennis 21/December/06