Prank

 

How do people refer to the prank that involves knocking on someone’s door and then
running away before they can answer?


*ditch family encompasses: ding dong ditch, doorbell ditch.
**ginger family encompasses: knock knock ginger, knock down ginger, knock off ginger, knocky door ginger, etc.
run family encompasses: knock and run, knock knock run, knock door run, knock-a-door run.

Previous findings

There is no published literature on this particular case of lexical variation.

Our findings

There is a clear North-South divide with respect to this case of lexical variation, where knock and run and other members of the run family are favoured in the North and Midlands, and knock knock ginger and other members of the ginger family are favoured in the South. Two other terms, though they appear much less frequently, also show clear regional patterning: cherry knocking is clustered in a southern region of the Midlands, while nicky nicky nine doors seems to be restricted to the North East.