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Must be one of those phrases that everyone knows but nobody explains. Encountered it in this sentence: "My girlfriend thinks I'm too old to rock a hawk." (from the movie called Wheelman) Could anyone explain to me what this means?

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    He’s too old to cut his hair into a mohawk. That’s for the young, cool kids. Or so his GF claims.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 2, 2021 at 21:58
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    The sense of the verb “rock” here is: to wear a particular style of clothing, etc. and look good or fashionable.
    – user 66974
    Jun 2, 2021 at 22:18
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    Since this question was answered in a comment, it is still marked as "unanswered." Jun 7, 2021 at 11:09
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    I really wish that someone would replace the "Add a comment" link on stack exchange with text similar to "Ask a clarifying question". If you know the answer, do not write the answer as a comment. Some questions on the website cannot be answered without asking for clarification. That is why the comment section exists. Jun 8, 2021 at 2:46
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    There are a lot of Google hits for "rock a hawk" + meaning. It soon becomes clear that hawk is short for mohawk, the hair style. Jun 8, 2021 at 15:31

2 Answers 2

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The following two sentences are equivalent in meaning:

  • "My girlfriend thinks I'm too old to rock a hawk."
  • "My girlfriend thinks I'm too old to wear a Mohawk."

In this context, you can substitute the verb "wear" for the verb "rock"
You can also substitute "hawk" for "mohawk"

I suppose that another suitable replacement for the verb "rock" might be "sport"

"My girlfriend thinks I'm too old to be *sporting a Mohawk-style haircut."

Lastly, consider the following:

My girlfriend thinks I'm too old to have my hair cut so that the hair down the center of my head is longer than the hair on the sides.

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    Isn't this just a rehash of Dan Bron's comment? :)
    – user405662
    Jun 8, 2021 at 9:39
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    @user405662 Yes, but this is answer, not a comment. It would be improved by referencing a dictionary for rock=wear at least.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 8, 2021 at 9:47
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    +1 for posting the correct answer as an answer. I note as a minor and tangential point that, for clarity, the written form of the phrase might be rendered as "rock a 'hawk"—to signal to readers that 'hawk is an abbreviated form of a longer word.
    – Sven Yargs
    Jun 8, 2021 at 16:16
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    @user405662 Yes, this answer is just a rehash of Dan Bron's comment. Answers to questions are supposed to be posted as answers, not comments. The comment section is where you ask questions about the question. If a question cannot be answered without additional clarification, then you post a comment. I wish that the powers that be would replace the text on the "add a comment" link with the text "ask for clarification" Jun 8, 2021 at 17:33
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    @user405662 Dan Bron is an experienced user of EL&U, and likely left a comment rather than an answer in the belief that this question would be closed as substandard (it fails to demonstrate any attempt at initial research) but that a comment might be helpful. Neither he nor other experienced EL&U users will take offense if we leave a comment that is expanded into a full answer, and indeed sometimes we explicitly do so because we do not have the time to provide a full answer.
    – choster
    Jun 8, 2021 at 22:41
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Hawk = Mohawk

Rock = Wear (E.g. I'm going to rock my new shoes this weekend). Usually for something that's nice.

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    I'm not the downvoter, but I suspect that the downvote may be related to the fact that the hyperlink embedded in your answer doesn't work (at least it doesn't for me).
    – Sven Yargs
    Jun 8, 2021 at 16:21
  • Fixed and added Wikipedia link to the Native American tribe. Jun 10, 2021 at 5:25

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