Crop Up

Meanings of “Crop Up”

The phrase “crop up” means to merge, happen, or occur accidentally or unexpectedly. It also means to emerge suddenly.

Origin of “Crop Up”

The phrase “crop up” seems to have emerged from the allusion of the crops but its first printed evidence appeared in Mtallum Martis, a record of the mining business in England written by Dud Dudley and published in 1665, but it referred to coal as “cropping up.” Later, it was used extensively in the same sense. Simultaneously, its figurative image emerged in the writings of the Royal Asiatic Society back in 1832 with reference to limestone as cropping up on the oceanic surface.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

New Gardens by Juan Felipe Herrera

“for the cities of Sanctuary with tables of bread & ready soul soup
for the walkers the searchers the finders the givers
for the writers the artists the mothers & daughters in protest
for the fathers en route to their sons en route to the summer fields
for those in compound fences for the cucumber crop up at 3am
for the cotton workers the cutters of the migrant grape & tomato
for those in the back row sputtering their banned language
for those migrants baked in a hustler truck in San Antonio, Texas”

These lines shed light on the city centers and the life going on over there. It means that the cities harbor all types of people from walkers to searchers and form workers to migrants, but it is bizarre that the speaker used cucumber for cropping up and that too at an unusual time of 3 AM. Leaving aside the poetic musings, the phrase’s meanings show that it is only associated with cucumber.

Example #2

Poetry Editorial by Muzamil Syre from PERIL

Ideas can spring from anywhere. Sometimes we even can’t follow the trajectory of our own thoughts. As tobacco is trampled down in a pipe with a thumb, ideas as well as emotions lie buckled under the weight of time, but can crop up during a creative process. For instance, as regards creative process in poetry, we can see what Wordsworth (Lyrical Ballads, 1798) spoke of it, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility.”

This passage is taken from an editorial by a poetic critic. He has used it with reference to images and emotions that come up during a creative process. Linking it to Woodsworth’s poetic output, he says that as emotions well up in the hearts, ideas crop up in the minds. This cropping up of ideas is rather a metaphorical use as generally it is used with vegetables.

Example #3

Recollections from My Five Lives by Horst A. Schenk

As soon as we arrived in Bachli, I went to the weather station and tried to analyze and fix as much as possible. I would fix one problem and another would crop up. I worked until late in the night and the next day (New Year’s Eve). Our planned New Year’s Celebration fell flat.

This short passage occurs in a biography. He recounts his incident of visiting Bachli to fix the problems at the weather station. However, when they were able to fix one, another used to come up for which he has used the phrase “crop up” in its literal meanings.

Example #4

Celtic Myth and Arthurian Romance by Roger Sherman Loomis

Kittredge has declared that at least four of these are independence of each other, and I go so far as to believe that all seven are independent of each other. The minute traits of the Irish story which crop up four or five centuries later in these romances show that the currents of tradition which carried them down must have been extraordinarily uncontaminated.

Loomis discusses the Irish stories and romances given in these stories during his study of the King Arthur and the Round Table and its association with the Celtic mythology. He is of the view that although there are some independent stories, whenever there is a minute study, something always crops up from those romances. The phrase shows its true meanings.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “Most of the problems crop up when you do not pay attention to them.”

Example #2: “If it is just a matter of time, we can wait for the issues to crop up so that we could present our solutions. However, it is not just cropping up that has caused our delay; we want to see how they crop up.”

Example #3: “Kino and Riley have seen their friends cropping up from the forest like the crops from the fields.”

Example #4: “I have seen the frogs cropping up on the lake whenever I arrive, although I take time in going on the bank.”

Example #5: “A genie cropping up in the middle of the desert, came forward and made such a hullaballoo that I was really terrified.”