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Crop up

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on September 14, 2007

In Reply to: Crop up posted by Kate Hudson on September 14, 2007

: Please could some one offer an explanation as to where the phrase "crops up" comes from. I have an inclination that it originates from the idea of crops growing up from the ground but would much appreciate someones wordly advice on this subject.

Unclear. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is vague about the ultimate origin of "crop", from Old English "cropp", but implies that all its meanings - a bird's gullet, a harvest, to cut, to cause to bear grain, etc - are related. It says that "crop up/out" and "outcrop" were originally mining terms; a vein of mineral ore was said to "crop up" if it appeared on the surface. (BTW, what you have is an "inkling", not an "inclination", which is an unrelated word.) (VSD)