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Picture of wordmatic
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The story of MSNBC's David Shuster asking the other night whether it didn't seem as if Chelsea Clinton was "being pimped out" in some "weird way" by her mother's campaign has raised a furor in the US. I've been trying to find an online definition for the term "to be pimped out" and haven't discovered anything except a couple of previous discussions here and here at Wordcraft.

So it seems as if what Shuster was trying to say was that the Hillary Clinton campaign was pushing Chelsea out there among the voters --prostituting her to the cause of her mother's campaign--dangling Chelsea, whom everybody likes, to help increase her mother's popularity. He wasn't saying she was wearing clothing that made her look like a prostitute, but that's how a lot of people my age took it, I think. We're not fully up on the "positive" meanings of "pimp," and probably don't want to be, I might add!

So looks as if this Shuster is going to get the boot for using language that was so hip that only the youngest generation could understand him?

I have never seen "Pimp My Ride" and would never think of getting all dressed up as being "tarted up" or "pimped out." How sleazy! eek!

Wordmatic
 
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The comment seems over the top to me as a dispassionate observer. There's nothing unusual in politicians' family members being used to drum up votes.

Over here we don't (apart from perhaps a few MTV-watchers) use 'pimp' in the sense of getting dressed up, or having a 'makeover', but 'tarted up' is commonly used with roughly the same meaning, and has no real overtones of looking like a prostitute.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Fortunately, I missed that hubub...until now at least. Good grief.

In that link it says "The jumping off point was a clip in which three members of The View mentioned having been called by Chelsea on behalf of her mother. Shuster's guests were Dem pundit Bill Press and columnist Bob Franken." From that comment, it would seem the phrase means that Hillary was "taking advantage" of her daughter to help her win the nomination. As arnie says, that's balderdash of course. All family members and friends help their candidates win, for heaven's sake. It looks like sexism to me.
[edited to correct a really stupid error that I always make!]

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It looks like sexism to me.

Me too. Nobody complained about Romney's five sons pimping serving their country for him.
 
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Oh, I absolutely agree that it's a sexist attitude on Shuster's part, that it's normal for the entire family to go campaigning. I was mainly interested in the fact that "pimped out" means something entirely different than I thought it did.

WM
 
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I only figured out what "pimped out" meant from the context. I hadn't heard it used before.
 
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The phrase "pimped out" doesn't surprise me at all, I guess.

A few summers ago we had a "Pimp My Faves" contest among staff at my library branch. We each had a display area for a week during the summer when we were to display our favorite books and try to get them to check out. The one who got the most books to go won a little prize (squirt gun, I think).

We wanted to compete in Pimp My Bookcart but we were too busy to take the time to submit an entry. Maybe this year!

I do agree that the comment was probably sexist. But, of course, no one on the View could be sexist, could they? {tongue in cheek}


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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I don't actually think that David Shuster used "pimped out" in the right context at least from what I understand. It is a concoction of the rap community that often takes words that have negative connotations and revamps them to have positive connotations. Pimped out in Canada is viewed upon as a showing of extravagance to make something cool. Like a cool make over. Prostituting Chelsea seems to me what Shuster was trying to get at.

Call me a snob, or guilty of age discrimination, but it makes me CRINGE when I hear adults using words/expression clearly intended for the young in conversation.

It would appear with each generation there comes quaint expressions such as, "pimped out" and they roll off the tongue of the young quite effortlessly. Amongst the young some of these expressions even sound cool. These expressions quite frankly sound so out of place and ridiculous coming from an adults lips which is why most young people roll their eyes while in earshoot of an adult using such an expression.

These expressions are mostly derived from a deviant young attitude determined to sever the young from the not so young. It is an exercise that every generation goes through to have something of their own like a secret verbal handshake of their time. Personally, I find something so repulsive about these expressions creeping into mainstream adult conversation, advertsing not intended for the youth market, news commentators scripts, etc. It feels like a blantant attempt at trying to recapture youth, be trendy, or prove that one is cool, and hip which usually boils down to someone appearing to try a little too hard to be something they just aren't. I am very much in favor of people being themselves.

This ploy of trying to reach a young audience by talking to them in a manner that they can relate to in advertising directed at the young is one thing. Adults adopting this vocabulary into their day to day conversation, or as a way of communicating with their children makes me wonder about people. In short, it feels the equivalent of a little kids dressing up in their mother, or father's clothes only in reverse and/or the school yard mentalty all over again. Doing what others do to fit in.


This is such a big topic going in another direction because there are all those words, and expressions
(e.g. think outside the box, sweet, whatsssssssssss up?, let's hug it out, etc.) that stem from tv, commercials movie, media, sports, celebrities that everyone starts using for a while until the next new "it" thing to say comes along. People jumping on the verbal bandwagon has so very much become the way ...

Sorry my post was so long.

walrus

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Is 'pimped out' an expression used by the young? It has a very clear (and old) meaning to me, that of being prostituted. The use in the context of Pimp my Ride and similar is different, I agree, as it is used on the MTV show.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Arnie:

I can only comment on Canada and here "pimped out" is used by the young and used in this context the meaning has changed.

walrus
 
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What is the meaning for the young, then? Confused


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Arnie: Pimped out in Canada is viewed upon as a showing of extravagance to make something cool. Like a cool make over.

Hmmm, I see what your getting at Arnie by todays meaning Shuster's use of "pimped out" is out of context but by the original meaning he used it in the right context. If that was the case he maybe picked the wrong turn of phrase to make his point, but then it made an impact for the wrong and right reasons. I'm guessing he knew exactly what he was doing Wink

walrus
 
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There is a tv show called "Pimp My Ride", in which they take a crappy old car and turn it into a pimped out sweet ride.
 
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Call me a snob, or guilty of age discrimination, but it makes me CRINGE when I hear adults using words/expression clearly intended for the young in conversation.

I can't say I agree with you, Walrus. Words and language are for all...the young and the old; the smart and the not-so-smart; men, women, and children; all religions and races...and that's the beauty of communication. Once we start judging who should use which words, it becomes bigoted and nasty. Language shouldn't be judgmental.

I hope you don't mind my honesty, Walrus. Nothing personal, of course.
 
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I kind of agree with walrus. There is nothing that sounds quite as ridiculous as an adult ettempting (usually badly) to ape the speech patterns of a teenager, innit?
 
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The usual pattern is that when slang used by teenagers is copied by their parents and other adults it is, almost by definition, no longer usable, so they will immediately switch to a new word or phrase.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Originally posted by BobHale:
I kind of agree with walrus. There is nothing that sounds quite as ridiculous as an adult attempting (usually badly) to ape the speech patterns of a teenager, innit?
 
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Were you trying to say something else, Bob?

In thinking about it, I suppose I can agree that some terminology sounds a little strange when a middle-aged adult uses it. I feel the same way, and my kids do too, about so many middle-aged adults using facebook now. Isn't that what LinkedIn is for?

I guess what I was reacting to was this comment:
quote:
Call me a snob, or guilty of age discrimination, but it makes me CRINGE when I hear adults using words/expression clearly intended for the young in conversation.
What is meant by "adults" here? Surely there are "young adults." All adults aren't old codgers. Is my 24-year-old daughter an adult or young? By "young" did you meant below age 18? That's where I think adulthood, albeit "young adults," begins.

So my concern was more with the statement that "adults" shouldn't use those words. BTW, are there words that the young (however we are defining it) shouldn't use?
 
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I was trying to correct a typo and making a pig's ear of the task. Smile
 
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Oh, you're funny Big Grin...and it made me wonder how the "pig's ear" phrase came to be. Back to the dictionaries...
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
Were you trying to say something else, Bob?

In thinking about it, I suppose I can agree that some terminology sounds a little strange when a middle-aged adult uses it. I feel the same way, and my kids do too, about so many middle-aged adults using facebook now. Isn't that what LinkedIn is for?

I guess what I was reacting to was this comment:
quote:
Call me a snob, or guilty of age discrimination, but it makes me CRINGE when I hear adults using words/expression clearly intended for the young in conversation.
What is meant by "adults" here? Surely there are "young adults." All adults aren't old codgers. Is my 24-year-old daughter an adult or young? By "young" did you meant below age 18? That's where I think adulthood, albeit "young adults," begins.

So my concern was more with the statement that "adults" shouldn't use those words. BTW, are there words that the young (however we are defining it) shouldn't use?



The point I was trying to make, and I guess did poorly is that it is my own personal opinion that people pushing the 40-ish mark just can't get away with using expressions such as, "pimped out" in the young sense without it sounding out of place, and ridiculous.

I'm not suggesting they cannot use this expession, or ones like it, but I'm wondering "WHY" an adult clearly beyond that of being a young adult would want to as BobHale so aptly put it, "ape the speech patterns of a teenager?" (Insert sarcastic grin & belly laugh as is my way with most everything I say Wink)

Regarding words that the young shouldn't use, good question. Difference being the young wouldn't be caught dead using them. Big Grin I think as arnie said, "when slang used by teenagers is copied by their parents and other adults it is, almost by definition, no longer usable, so they will immediately switch to a new word or phrase."

I guess once coolness is broached there is no going back ...yikes, yikes, yikes...

Through this all I am reminded of that funny little scene in the movie "Notting Hill" where Julia Roberts character laughs at Hugh Grants character for using the expression "whoopsie daisy."

Enjoyed the laugh & conversation, walrus Wink
 
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Oh, you're funny Big Grin...and it made me wonder how the "pig's ear" phrase came to be. Back to the dictionaries...

I confess that I don't know where "pig's ear" meaning a mistake, comes from. I don't think it's Cockney Rhyming Slang as, in CRS, "pig's ear" is beer.

But it's common enough in UK English.


Richard English
 
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I've always assumed it to be a humourous reversal of the common expression "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear".

I have no actual evidence, though.
 
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Others (including me) seem to agree with you, Bob. I did a quick search and the sites that mentioned it have the same opinion, such as http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/283000.html


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I like to use teenage vernacular sometimes, if for no other reason than to make my audience chuckle. I mean, I'm a middle-aged white professional, and it's shocking and somewhat humorous to hear me say "fer shizzle", or something like that. I work in a neighborhood where nearly everyone is of the African-American, Urban culture. I am aware of the culture around me, and sometimes, to make a point, I will delve into that culture.

Case in point: I do workshops for parents of preschool-aged children on the importance of being your child's first teacher, the importance of interacting with your children verbally so that their language skills will develop.

One of the skills I talk about is sharing rhymes and music with children from before birth. Rhyming and understanding that you can play with language is a very important early literach skill. Well, it just so happens that Rap and Hip-Hop are all about playing with rhymes. I tell the parents they can "get their shizzle on" while interacting with their children, and they'll be building into their brain power.

So - my point (I know, it's a long story for a small point) is that sometimes using the common language of one's audience is a strategy rather than a vain attempt to gain popularity where it would not be valuable.


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Difference being the young wouldn't be caught dead using them.
What would some examples be? I can't imagine my oldest daughter, who has always loved words, not wanting to use a word because it was too sophisticated...at any age. She's the one who, in 8th grade, taught her teacher what the word "cerulean" meant. My point being...I think it depends on the person and that age isn't always a defining factor.

CW, you make a good point.

Bob, that use of "pig's ear" isn't often used in the U.S., at least from Shu's and my perspective. We've not heard it used like that before, though Shu surmised that it was derived from the "silk purse out of a sow's ear" phrase. Americans, have you heard "pig's ear" used to mean "mistake?"
 
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I treat teenage slang just like any other source of linguistic innovation: if I like it, I use it; if I don't, I don't.
 
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quote:
Difference being the young wouldn't be caught dead using them.


What would some examples be?


Aw Shucks?
 
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Yep, I'd buy "Aw shucks." Or one of my favorites that probably came from my grandmother, "That really dusts my doilies!"
 
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... from my grandmother: "Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it !"
 
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Others? My father had a slew of cliches. For example, I'd ask him where something was, and he'd say, "Down in the cellar behind the axe." Or "You can call me anything, but don't call me late for dinner!" He also used your grandmother's cliche, Jerry. I've got to think of a few more.
 
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samples from my late father's repertoire:

(Describing icey snowpacked streets) "Slicker'n snot on a doorknob."

"Holy Jehosaphat !!"

"Colder'n a BY god."

"Colder'n a witch's tit."

"By the great horned spoon !!"

"Hotter'n the hinges of Hell !!"
 
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I've heard in a pig's eye,, meaning "no way!" But not a pig's ear.

Wordmatic
 
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