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November 4, 2004

Slang of the Week: ride or die (adjective phrase)
loyal in good times and bad

Example:
Seth had dated a lot of women before, but this was different. Danielle was his ride or die girl.

Celebrity quote:
“Who’s gonna be that ride or die chick for me tonight?
Yeah, yeah, I need a girlfriend for me.”
-J-Boog in the B2K song Girlfriend

This phrase has changed meanings in the last few years. The original version was an ultimatum. As Tupac Shakur asked in Hail Mary, “What do we have here now? Do you wanna ride or die?” In other words, if you are a part of this group, you had better be ready to go with us, even if we are going to do something dangerous or illegal.

A play on the expression was also used in politics recently when P. Diddy’s Citizen Change voter registration drive used “Vote or Die” as its slogan. While there may be some instances in which the “die” is literal, it more often means “refuse to go along.”

Nowadays, it is often used about women who are willing to stay with a partner through hard times. In that context, it’s usually a modifier, but not always. In Monica’s U Should’ve Known Better, she sings, “You should've known that I would stay by your side, you should've known your girl was gonna ride or die.”

What’s new at Slang City?
We’ve got some new photos in Real English: T-shirt Slogans, Graffiti, and Signs of the Times.