According to this chart, the usage of rock as a verb has doubled in the last 20 years undoubtedly because 'rock' has recently acquired a new meaning but I have to confess that as a native English speaker even I have trouble figuring out what people really mean by this expression which is why the French translations of this term seem to me to be so horrible. So 'she is ready to rock the catwalk' was translated to 'Et elle est prête à arpenter le podium.' Here I would say 'rock' means 'astonish' or 'amaze' people as she walks the catwalk. "You're ready to rock that day in the office," was obviously wrongly translated into "Vous êtes prête pour une journée au bureau." Again, 'rock' here probably means 'amaze/astonish your coworkers at the office'. "Yes, agreed, you need a perfect line to rock that," which probably means 'master' or 'win' got translated as "Ok, faut avoir une ligne parfaite." "She's going to rock the mic," which probably means 'amaze the audience with the mic' got transated into "elle va faire chauffer mon micro," which is probably the best translation I've seen of the term but still falls flat to me. Come on, people there has to be a better french translation for this word out there. All the translations come from my all time favorite website


2 Answers 2


Dans certains cas où c'est transitif et plutôt négatif, ça peut être « secouer, ébranler », alors que quand c'est intransitif, on a des termes d'argot comme « assurer, déchirer » (Wiktionnaire) entre autres.

C'est du cas par cas à mon avis. Trouver le mot juste pour maîtriser/dominer, assurer, réussir à la perfection etc. Être prêt à faire (s')enflammer le micro, assurer au micro. Se déchaîner sur le podium ou susciter le délire, voir la foule être en liesse lors de... ; épater. Abattre, expédier, clencher une autre journée au bureau ? Reverso a aussi identifié mettre le feu au figuré et on peut penser à d'autre locution comme ça décoiffe, par exemple.

Avec une analyse plus minutieuse et davantage de contexte pour chaque phrase il sera beaucoup plus facile de trouver une formulation qui convienne et le bon registre. Dans certains cas on pourrait devoir reformuler en changeant le sujet de la phrase pour passer de la personne qui agit à ceux qui perçoivent son action. La fréquence ne rend pas le terme plus porteur et on le trouvera toujours plus juste ou idiomatique dans sa propre langue que des équivalents dans une autre. Enfin, Reverso n'est pas une panacée et ne pourra jamais se substituer à la réflexion.

  • 1
    Excellent answer, very detailed and elaborate.
    – bobsmith76
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 11:40
  • @bobsmith76 There is more to be said, I'm sure better answers are possible, please wait before selection if possible. Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 11:42

Ce verbe fourre-tout a plusieurs sens :

  1. (transitive) To disturb the emotional equilibrium of; to distress; to greatly impact (most often positively):
    Downing Street has been rocked by yet another sex scandal.
    She rocked my world.
  2. (intransitive) To do well or to be operating at high efficiency.
    The Blues' challenge had been rocking at that point, with Terry's centre-back partner Gary Cahill lost to injury and Barca having just levelled the tie through Busquets's neat, close-range finish from Isaac Cuenca's pull-back.
  3. (intransitive, stative) to be cool.
    That band rocks!

[ Wiktionary ]

3 [+ object] informal
a : to cause (someone or something) to be upset or shocked
The news of the murders rocked the town.
b : to affect or influence (someone or something) very powerfully
Their invention rocked the computer industry.
c : to entertain (someone) in a very powerful and effective way
The band rocked the crowd.
His performance rocked the house. [=the audience loved his performance]
The new video game will rock your world. [=you will really like the new video game]
5 [no object] slang : to be very enjoyable, pleasing, or effective
Her new car really rocks. [=her new car is really great]

[ Britannica ]

5. Slang To be excellent or outstanding. Used in exclamations of approval.
a. To disturb the mental or emotional equilibrium of; upset: News of the scandal rocked the town.
b. To excite or cause strong feeling in, as by playing rock music.
6. Slang To exhibit, display, or use with flair: The actor rocked a pair of diamond-studded sunglasses at the movie premiere.

[ American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language ]

  • O yea, 'news of the murders really rocked the town', I forgot about that one.
    – bobsmith76
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 11:44

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