Why is it called “rock n’ roll?” What does the “roll” mean? | Dictionary.com Blog

Is “Rocket ‘88” by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats the very first rock and roll record? The question has inspired debate among musicologists for years.  Another equally contentious question: Where does the term rock and roll come from? Rock is derived from the Old English roccain, related to the Old Nordic rykkja meaning, “to pull, tear, move.” The earliest recorded use of the term in literature can be found in the lullaby “Rock-a-bye Baby” from 1805. Roll is derived from the Latin rotula meaning, “small wheel.” The phrase “rocking and rolling,” a metaphor used by seamen to describe the motion of a ship, dates from the 17th century. Similar metaphors slipped into popular discourse, but one in particular became the inspiration for the genre’s moniker. By the 1920s, “rocking and rolling” became a popular double entendre referring to either dancing or sex. Trixie Smith’s 1922 blues ballad, “My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)” may be the first use of the phrase in song. Alan Freed,

Source: Why is it called “rock n’ roll?” What does the “roll” mean? | Dictionary.com Blog

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s