Pop the question

Pop the question is an idiom that has been in use since the 1700s. We will examine the meaning of the idiom pop the question, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

To pop the question means to ask someone if she will marry you, to ask for a person’s hand in marriage. Traditionally, the person who will pop the question is the male, though changing mores mean that a woman may pop the question to a man, or a person of the same sex may pop the question to his or her partner. Related phrases are pops the question, popped the question, popping the question. The phrase pop the question came into use in the 1700s to mean to ask an important question, which may have been a proposal of marriage or it may have been any other important question. By the 1820s, the expression pop the question came to be an idiom that solely means to ask if someone will marry you.

Examples

Soon, the two found themselves at a gorgeous waterfall within the picturesque North Carolina landscape, and soon, Roberts’ boyfriend of four years was popping the question. (People Magazine)

Wedding planning app Bridebook found that the weekend of December 21 and 22 is when most are expected to pop the question. (The Sun)

Ronan Farrow used ‘Catch and Kill’ to pop the question to Jon Lovett (New York Times)

As if that wasn’t enough to thrill us, Daniel also spoke in more depth about the proposal itself in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, revealing that he popped the question at the couple’s home. (Country Living Magazine)