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in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Rock mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Rock

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Rock
See Roc.
noun Rock
A distaff used in spinning; the staff or frame about which flax is arranged, and from which the thread is drawn in spinning.

Etymology: OE. rocke; akin to D. rok rokken, G. rocken, OHG. roccho, Dan. rok, Icel. rokkr. Cf. Rocket a firework

noun Rock
  1. A large concreted mass of stony material; a large fixed stone or crag. See Stone."Come one, come all! this rock shall fly From its firm base as soon as I." [Sir W. Scott.]
  2. [Geol] Any natural deposit forming a part of the earth's crust, whether consolidated or not, including sand, earth, clay, etc., when in natural beds.
  3. That which resembles a rock in firmness; a defense; a support; a refuge."The Lord is my rock, and my fortress." [2 Sam. xxii. 2.]
  4. Fig.: Anything which causes a disaster or wreck resembling the wreck of a vessel upon a rock.
  5. [Zoöl] The striped bass. See under Bass.

Note: ☞ This word is frequently used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, rock-bound, rock-built, rock-ribbed, rock-roofed, and the like.

Etymology: OF. roke, F. roche; cf. Armor. roc'h, and AS. rocc

verb Rock
  1. To cause to sway backward and forward, as a body resting on a support beneath; as, to rock a cradle or chair; to cause to vibrate; to cause to reel or totter."A rising earthquake rocked the ground." [Dryden.]
  2. To move as in a cradle; hence, to put to sleep by rocking; to still; to quiet."Sleep rockthy brain." [Shak.]

Note: Rock differs from shake, as denoting a slower, less violent, and more uniform motion, or larger movements. It differs from swing, which expresses a vibratory motion of something suspended.

Etymology: AS. roccian; akin to Dan. rokke to move, to snake; cf. Icel. rukkja to pull, move, G. rücken to move, push, pull

verb Rock
  1. To move or be moved backward and forward; to be violently agitated; to reel; to totter."The rocking town Supplants their footsteps." [J. Philips .]
  2. To roll or saway backward and forward upon a support; as, to rock in a rocking-chair.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Pitching dangerously to one side
  2. A genre of popular music originating in the 1950s; a blend of black rhythm-and-blues with white country-and-western ("rock is a generic term for the range of styles that evolved out of rock'n'roll.")
  3. Hard bright-colored stick candy (typically flavored with peppermint)
  4. A lump or mass of hard consolidated mineral matter ("he threw a rock at me")
  5. (figurative) someone who is strong and stable and dependable ("he was her rock during the crisis" and "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church")
  6. United States gynecologist and devout Catholic who conducted the first clinical trials of the oral contraceptive pill (1890-1984)
  7. Material consisting of the aggregate of minerals like those making up the Earth's crust ("that mountain is solid rock")
  8. Move back and forth or sideways ("the ship was rocking" and "She rocked back and forth on her feet")
  9. Cause to move back and forth ("rock the cradle" and "rock the baby")

From Middle English rocke, rokke (“rock formation”), from Old English *rocc (“rock”), as in Old English stānrocc (“high stone rock, peak, obelisk”), and also later from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French roc, roce, roque (compare Modern French roc, roche, rocher), from Medieval Latin rocca (attested 767), from Vulgar Latin *rocca, of uncertain origin, sometimes said to be of Celtic (Gaulish) origin (compare Breton roc'h).

  1. Some formations of minerals.
    1. (uncountable) The naturally occurring aggregate of solid mineral matter that constitutes a significant part of the earth's crust.
      The face of the cliff is solid .
    2. A mass of stone projecting out of the ground or water.
      The ship crashed on the .
    3. (Britain) A boulder or large stone; or (US, Canada) a smaller stone; a pebble.
      Some fool has thrown a through my window.
    4. (geology) Any natural material with a distinctive composition of minerals.
    5. (slang) A precious stone or gem, especially a diamond.
      Look at the size of that on her finger!
  2. A large hill or island having no vegetation.
    Pearl near Cape Cod is so named because the morning sun makes it gleam like a pearl.
  3. (figuratively) Something that is strong, stable, and dependable; a person who provides security or support to another.
  4. A lump or cube of ice.
    I'll have a whisky on the , please.
  5. (Britain, uncountable) A type of confectionery made from sugar in the shape of a stick, traditionally having some text running through its length.
    While we're in Brighton, let's get a stick of !
  6. (US, slang) A crystallized lump of crack cocaine.
  7. Some people.
    1. (US, slang) An unintelligent person, especially one who repeats mistakes.
    2. (South Africa, slang, derogatory) An Afrikaner.
    3. (US poker slang) An extremely conservative player who is willing to play only the very strongest hands.
  8. Some fish.
    1. The striped bass.
    2. The huss or rock salmon.
      We ordered and chips to take away.
  9. (basketball, slang) A basketball.
  10. (rock paper scissors) A closed hand (a handshape resembling a rock), that beats scissors and loses to paper. It loses to lizard and Spock in rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock.

From Middle English rokken, from Old English roccian, from Proto-Germanic *rukkōną (compare obsolete Dutch (Holland) rokken, Middle High German rocken (“to drag, jerk”), Modern German rücken ("to move, shift"), Icelandic rukka (“to yank”)), from *rugnōną, from Proto-Indo-European *h₃ruk-néh₂-, from *h₃runk- (compare Latin runcāre (“to weed”), Latvian rũķēt (“to toss, dig”)).

  1. An act of rocking; a rocking motion; a sway.

Shortened from rock and roll. Since the meaning of rock has adapted to mean a simpler, more modern, metal-like genre, rock and roll has generally been left referring to earlier forms such as that of the 1950s, notably more swing-oriented style.

  1. A style of music characterized by basic drum-beat, generally 4/4 riffs, based on (usually electric) guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocals.

From Middle English rok, rocke, rokke, perhaps from Middle Dutch rocke (whence Dutch rok), Middle Low German rocken, or Old Norse rokkr (whence Icelandic / Faroese rokkur, Danish rok, Swedish spinnrock (“spinning wheel”)). Cognate with Old High German rocko (“distaff”).

  1. (countable) distaff
  2. (uncountable) The flax or wool on a distaff.

    rock was also found in the following language(s): Catalan, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish

    Notable Persons Named Rock

    Rock Hudson was an actor. His career lasted from 1947 to 1985. Rock was given the name Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. on November 17th, 1925 in Winnetka, Illinois, U.S. Rock is also known as Roy Harold Fitzgerald and Roc Hudson. He passed away on October 2nd, 1985.


    Rock Lee is an animanga character.


    Rock is a hip hop music rapping. He was most active from 1994 to present. Rock was given the name Jamal Bush on November 4th, 1975. Rock is also known as Rock, Big Rock, Tha Rockness Monstah, Bummee Jab, Alvin Katraz, Dutch, Tha Flipsta, BigRock Obama, and Monstaman Rocko.


    Rock Cartwright is an american football player. He was most prominent from 2002 to 2011. Rock was born on December 3rd, 1979 in Conroe, Texas.


    Rock Holmes is an animanga character.


    Rock Python is a comics character.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Rock

    Chris Rock is a black comedy, comedy music, observational comedy, and political satire musician. Chris was given the name Christopher Julius Rock III on February 7th, 1965 in , U.S.


    He was most prominent from 1982 to present. Kid was given the name Robert James Ritchie on January 17th, 1971 in Romeo, Michigan, U.S.


    Aesop Rock is a hip hop music rapper, songwriter, musician, producer, visual artist, poet, rapping, and hip hop production. He plays Vocals, guitar, synthesizer, keyboard, sequencer, MPC, Rapping, Music sequencer, and Music Production Center. He was most active from 1996 to present. Aesop was given the name Ian Matthias Bavitz on June 5th, 1976 in Syosset, New York, U.S.


    Pete Rock is an east coast hip hop, alternative hip hop, experimental hip hop, jazz rap, and turntablism music producer, disc jockey, rapper, record producer, and rapping. He plays Turntablism and Sampler (musical instrument). He was most active from 1987 to present. Pete was given the name Peter Phillips on June 21st, 1970 in The Bronx. Pete is also known as Soul Brother #1 and The Chocolate Boy Wonder.


    Jay Rock is a hip hop music rapping. He has been prominent since 2003. Jay was given the name Johnny Reed McKinzie, Jr. on March 31st, 1985. Jay is also known as Lance Skiiiwalker.


    Bob Rock is a rock music, heavy metal music, and punk rock musician. His ongoing career started in 1978. Bob was given the name Robert Jens Rock on April 19th, 1954.


    How popular is the baby name Rock in the U.S.?

    Click Here to Show Chart Data
    Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
    1913 8 0 8
    1915 8 0 8
    1916 6 0 6
    1918 5 0 5
    1920 7 0 7
    1922 6 0 6
    1924 7 0 7
    1929 7 0 7
    1935 7 0 7
    1936 6 0 6
    1938 5 0 5
    1940 10 0 10
    1941 7 0 7
    1942 7 0 7
    1943 6 0 6
    1944 8 0 8
    1945 7 0 7
    1946 5 0 5
    1947 18 0 18
    1948 10 0 10
    1949 12 0 12
    1950 18 0 18
    1951 18 0 18
    1952 34 0 34
    1953 52 0 52
    1954 84 0 84
    1955 140 0 140
    1956 136 0 136
    1957 154 0 154
    1958 138 0 138
    1959 133 0 133
    1960 101 0 101
    1961 87 0 87
    1962 77 0 77
    1963 53 0 53
    1964 50 0 50
    1965 35 0 35
    1966 32 0 32
    1967 32 0 32
    1968 32 0 32
    1969 26 0 26
    1970 18 0 18
    1971 30 0 30
    1972 27 0 27
    1973 26 0 26
    1974 18 0 18
    1975 18 0 18
    1976 15 0 15
    1977 19 0 19
    1978 20 0 20
    1979 23 0 23
    1980 29 0 29
    1981 19 0 19
    1982 11 0 11
    1983 24 0 24
    1984 20 0 20
    1985 17 0 17
    1986 15 0 15
    1987 16 0 16
    1988 18 0 18
    1989 14 0 14
    1990 19 0 19
    1991 11 0 11
    1992 14 0 14
    1993 12 0 12
    1994 20 0 20
    1995 12 0 12
    1996 9 0 9
    1997 9 0 9
    1998 15 0 15
    1999 20 0 20
    2000 22 0 22
    2001 12 0 12
    2002 19 0 19
    2003 13 0 13
    2004 12 0 12
    2005 21 0 21
    2006 26 0 26
    2007 22 0 22
    2008 24 0 24
    2009 30 0 30
    2010 29 0 29
    2011 21 0 21
    2012 21 0 21
    2013 32 0 32
    2014 21 0 21
    2015 30 0 30
    2016 31 0 31
    2017 17 0 17

    Where is the name Rock popular?

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    Popularity of Rock as a first name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Rock as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in California, Ohio, or Michigan.

    Popularity of Rock as a last name

    The map shows the relative popularity of the name Rock as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Vermont, Alaska, or New Hampshire.

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Rock U.S.
      White 83.62% 64.26%
      African American 8.71% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.70% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 2.50% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 2.00% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 2.48% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Rock

    People with the last name Rock are most frequently White

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Rock

    • How Popular is the name Rock? Rock is the 5,819th most popular name of all time. As a last name Rock was the 1,859th most popular name in 2010.
    • How many people with the first name Rock have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 2,535 babies born with the first name Rock in the United States. That's more than enough people named Rock to occupy the territory of Svalbard and Jan Mayen (Norway) with an estimated population of 2,495 (as of March 1, 2010).
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named Rock? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1913 when it was given as a first name to 8 new born babies.
    • When was Rock first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Rock is Saturday, May 16th, 1874.
    • What year had the most people named Rock born? The highest recorded use of the first name Rock was in 1957 with a total of 154 babies.
    • Random Rock Factoid: According to the 1955 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Rock is not a popular baby boy's name in California. Imagine that, only 16 babies in California have the same name as you in 1955.
    • Weird things about the name Rock: Your name in reverse order is Kcor. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Crok. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Rock? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 19,313 people with the last name Rock.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Rock? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 7 of them will have Rock as their last name.

    What Rocks Have Visited This Page?

    Name poster for Rock

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    Most Popular Names

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.