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Picture of Kalleh
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Dawn Turner Trice, in a Chicago Tribune article, wonders if an unsavory word can take on a more savory meaning...such as the word pimp. I don't know...she thinks not. It seems a scholarship has been named P.I.M.P. or positive, intellectual, motivated person in an attempt to turn this meaning around. Do you think that's possible? Any examples of words where the meaning was unsavory, but now isn't? I can think of words that have gone the other way.

As for the word pimp, Trice's OED says that the word is from the 16th century and that the origin is unknown. My online OED cites it as first being used in 1607, and etymology online says it might come from the French word, pimper, "to dress elegantly." Does anyone know any more about that word?
 
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There's a show on MTV called Pimp my Ride which appears to concern itself with customising motor cars. The word "pimp" in this instance appears to be similar in meaning to the slang phrase used here "tart up", which means "dress smartly", "cause to look good". "Tart up" is sometimes used derogatorily, meaning "to dress in a cheap and provocative way", but not always. There is an obvious similarity here.


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tart up seems sort of meretricious.
 
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Oh, Arnie.. my kids and I watch Pimp My Ride.. and laugh and laugh... MTV is certainly "tarting up" the automobile... for what purposes? We can only surmise. Smile
 
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Etymology online has "pimp" possibly originating from the French word meaning "to dress elegantly." However, the OED online has a very different discussion about the word "pimping." That etymology the OED also calls unknown, but here is its possible origins:

"Of uncertain origin; dialectally pimpy is found in same sense. Cf. PIMP n.2, and Cornish dial. pimpey weak watery cider; also Du. pimpel weak little man, Ger. pimpelig effeminate, sickly, puling, which imply a stem pimp.]"

"Weak" seems to be the basis of "pimping."

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kalleh,
 
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quote:
"Weak" seems to be the basis of "pimping."


Don't say that outloud in MY neighborhood, honey, or you gonna be da last thing from being pimped.


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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My dictionary dates 'pimp' from 1607 but notes that it has an obscure origin and defines it as 'A pander, procurer'. There seems to be a clear link here to the pimps we think of today and sordid nature we associate with that profession seems to be backed up with the 1687 definition of 'pimping', which is 'Small, petty, mean; in poor health or condition, sickly.'
 
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The OED Online likewise says "origin obscure," and the first citation as a noun is from 1607 (1636 as a verb). The interesting thing under the discussion of the etymology is in the last line: "But these leave much to be explained in the history of the word before 1600." So the word apparently predates 1600, but by how much?

Here are their definitions of pimp. Note that some aren't related to sex.
quote:
pimp, n.1

a. One who provides means and opportunities for unlawful sexual intercourse; a pander, procurer.

b. transf. and fig. One who ministers to anything evil, esp. to base appetites or vices.

c. In various other uses: (a) Austral. and N.Z. slang, an informer, a tell-tale; (b) Welsh dial., one who spies on lovers, a peeping Tom; (c) U.S. slang, a male prostitute.

d. attrib. and Comb., as pimp-errant, -master, -tenure; pimp-like adj.; {dag}pimp-whisk, -whiskin (-ing) obs. slang = PIMP.

pimp, n.2

A name in London and the southern counties for a small faggot or bundle of firewood. (quotes from 1742 to 1889)

pimp, v.

1. a. intr. To act as pimp or pander; to pander.

b. fig. or in generalized sense.

c. to pimp on: to scrounge off; to take advantage of. U.S. slang.

2. trans. To bring together as a pimp. nonce-use.

3. intr. To tell tales; to inform on someone. Austral. and N.Z. slang.

4. intr. To spy on lovers. Welsh dial.

Hence pimping vbl. n.1 and ppl. a.


Tinman
 
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quote:
So the word apparently predates 1600, but by how much?
Remember that words generally appear in speech well before their first appearance in writing. The 1607 citation is the earliest use in print known to the OED's compilers, but there could easily be an earlier use that has been lost to us.

It's interesting that the "Pimp my Ride" use I mentioned earlier doesn't appear in the OED. Perhaps it's too recent American slang?


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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Yes, Arnie - it's only a few years old. Probably from someone in RAP. Is it a new phenomenon that a bad word is suddenly used widely as a good word?


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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what does "Pimp my mind" means?

Anyone can explain this to me?
 
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upeach, the syntax of your question indicates that you are learning English. Properly asked, the question is "What does 'pimp my mind' mean?"

I have been using the English language for more than seventy years and have never seen or heard that expression until you brought it up. I've certainly never uttered it or written it. My advice is to forget it and to concentrate on more important things, like how to ask a question.

Here is the dictionary definition of pimp.
 
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Thanks for your advice, actually I'm learning English as my second language.
 
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Welcome upeach! Smile

I agree with jerry; Pimp my mind is a phrase I've never heard either. It is of course possible that it is some new slang term that us old fogeys have not heard yet.


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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quote:
Originally posted by upeach:
Thanks for your advice, actually I'm learning English as my second language.


Welcome to our little community.

I hope you enjoy being part of our language site.

You'll find that not only do we have a lot of people with incredible language skills we also have people (like me) who have slightly Wink (compared to, say, hic or aput or hab) lesser language skills but who do it for a living. You are learning English as a Second Language and I teach it.

You can bring any of your questions about the language to us and we'll be happy to answer them.

Welcome aboard.

P.S.just from professional curiosity, what is your first language?
 
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And to addressyour question.


The phrase "pimp my mind" only gets 11 hits using Google. Two of those are titles of pages on deviantart (an amateur artist site) and two are on German sites. It seems this isn't a common phrase. It certainly isn't one that I have ever heard. Sorry we can't help more here but this is not a common phrase in countries where English is the first language.
 
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Welcome to Wordcraft, upeach. Smile Big Grin Wink Cool

I am curious as to your first language, too...and as to what your name means.

Pimp my mind is not a phrase I've heard of, either.

You'll find that not only do we have a lot of people with incredible language skills we also have people (like me) who have slightly (compared to, say, hic or aput or hab) lesser language skills but who do it for a living.

Ummm...don't let Bob fool you. He most definitely has incredible language skills!
 
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From the ways I've heard "pimp" used, I would say it means either to fix it up or expand it's capabilities, or to sell it out, perhaps to give in to some concept or idea you would normally not support.

My feelings veer more towards the "expansion" thought.


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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I would use primp to mean "tart up", not pimp, but maybe that's a British thing...

Ros
 
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Oh, Ros, it really is good to have you back.

To me, "primp" means "to prean;" is that what "tart up" means? We don't use "tart up," at least in the midwest.
 
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Pretty much, yes. Tarting up can be applied to all sorts - putting on a swipe of mascara can be tarting oneself up, putting go-faster stripes and a stupid spoiler on your car would be tarting the car up... My father has a brilliant phrase which I've never heard anywhere else - to poodle-fake, which means, roughly, to tart up, but only superficially. Tidying up the living room before guests arrive, but not bothering with the rest of the house, for example...
 
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Hi Ros! C'est Di...

I love that phrase, poodle-fake- excellent! That's how we tidy up round here :-) xx
 
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Hello Di! I guessed hepburn26 might be you!
 
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did you, how? Smile

sneaky!
 
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Interesting. I've only ever heard it as a noun, poodle-faker, applied to male ladies' hairdressers and the like.

See Encarta.


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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Picture of Kalleh
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I wonder...I think we now have more British posters here than Americans! How wonderful! Big Grin

That is another American/British difference. If I were to tell my husband I was going to "tart up" (applying mascara), he'd expect me to go and eat some tarts! Wink
 
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Dear, a tart has meanings other than just the pastry.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by shufitz:
Dear, a tart has meanings other than just the pastry.

Yes indeed. I have heard that they are all supposed to be " tasty ". Now how did tasty get its alternative non-gustatory meanings?
 
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We have 2 threads going of the same word?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
We have 2 threads going of the same word?

So what's new? Smile
 
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