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August 25, 2005
Slang of the Week: gold digger (noun phrase)
a woman (or less often, a man) whose primary interest in a romantic partner is their money

Jason began to suspect Tiffany was a gold digger when she criticized her friend’s “tiny” ten carat diamond ring.

Celebrity quote:
“Consider yourself warned, so you can stay
Or you can stick to my rhyme and get the heck away!
Either way, go figure, she’s a gold digger.
Gettin' close as your bank roll grows bigger”
-Rapper Ludacris on a song from the Shark Tale soundtrack

Ludacris is not the only rapper to worry about gold diggers. In Mike Jones’ current hit Back Then, he complains that while women are after him now, they didn’t like him before he was rich: “Befo' I came up in the game these hoes didn't show no love/They see me in the club and used to treat me like a scrub (worthless person.)”

Kanye West also has a hit today with a song called Gold Digger, in which he talks about evil, greedy women who take advantage of men, demanding child support for children that aren’t theirs and spending their boyfriends’ money on plastic surgery. His advice? “If you ain’t no punk, holla, ‘We want prenup!’” (If you aren’t a fool, demand that she sign a prenuptial agreement before marriage.)

In another Gold Diggers rap song from 1990, EMPD warned listeners that “men in the 90's must watch themselves/'Cause ladies of the 80s got hip and went for self/With the new divorce laws, which entitles them half.”

But this concern has been around for much longer than rap music. The expression, born in the early twentieth century, was also the title of many Hollywood movies about chorus girls who marry rich men, most notably the Gold Diggers movies of the 1930s, which featured spectacular dance sequences by Busby Berkeley.

What’s new at Slang City?
Learn more about Mike Jones’ problems with women in our translation of Back Then, in Slang City Music. (Warning: contains bad language)