pick-up: a noun or a verb here?

Coach companies demand changes to pick-up rules
The sentence above is a title of the report here:vietnamnews.vn/print/204281/coach-companies-demand-changes-to-pick-up-rules-.htm
I wonder what is function of “pick-up” here. I think it can be a noun or a verb.
If it is a verb, it means “to improve”.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****


This is my opinion.

  1. Verb (two words): I will pick you up at 8 p.m. (I will collect you at 8 p.m.)

  2. Adjective (one word): Coach [bus] companies demand changes to pick-up / pickup rules. That is, the companies are demanding changes to the rules that tell them how and where they may pick up [verb] passengers. (“pickup” is an adjective that modifies “rules.”)

  3. Noun (one word): There has been a pickup [improvement] in the economy.


Thanks a lot, James!
I think you are entirely right. I didn’t notice about the hyphen.

The hyphen is pretty much optional, regardless of the part of speech.

Some guys drive pickup trucks; other guys drive pick-up trucks.
Some guys arriving at the dance alone look for a pick-up, and others look for a pickup, so that they don’t leave alone.
Some guys grab a bottle of liquor and pour themselves a pick-up, others pour themselves a pickup.
I may pick-up Mary at 7 AM, and pick up Lou Anne at 2 PM
There’s been a pick-up in phone calls asking about our new line of flanges, so we expect a pickup in sales next month.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Screen: You are very welcome.

Mr. Thomas: May I most respectfully ask whether that was a typo.

I am 99.99% confident that in American English, no hyphen would ever be used in a phrasal verb. “Pick” would be analyzed as the verb; “up” would be analyzed as an adverb or so-called particle.


If Mary is physically affectionate and between boyfriends, a respectful friend might pick-up Mary.

There are many other phrasal verbs with hyphens. Bobby McGee and I hitch-hiked to Lukenbach, Texas. In WWII, the American Military island-hopped its way across the Pacific. On joining the railroad track maintenance crew, Jimmy gandy-danced at first. Mildred cross-posted her screed to a dozen newsgroups.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Thank you, Mr. Thomas, for your reply.

I am still 99% confident that 99% of Americans would find that hyphen very strange (also in “hitchhike”).

So we shall simply disagree – agreeably, of course!


I’m with James on this one - I’ve never seen “hitchhike” hyphenated.

I wonder if those ‘hitch-hike’, ‘island-hop’, ‘gandy-dance’ could be referred to as phrasal verbs. Wikipedia puts it like this:
“The term phrasal verb is commonly applied to two or three distinct but related constructions in English: a verb and a particle and/or a preposition co-occur forming a single semantic unit. Verb + preposition (prepositional phrasal verbs) a. Who is looking after the kids? Verb + particle (particle phrasal verbs) a. They brought that up twice. Verb + particle + preposition (particle-prepositional phrasal verbs) a. Who can put up with that?”

Though many times I met verbs like that with/without a hyphen. Every story has two tellings?..