Slang City Mail

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March 2, 2006
Slang of the Week: crib (noun)
house or apartment

The party was still going on at three in the morning, but Sam just wanted everyone to leave his crib so he could sleep.

Celebrity quote:
“I was just in my crib, minding my business when Nige called me and said, ‘Jae, it's going down tonight. Puff wants you to battle someone in the house. I don't know who it is, just get ready.’”
- Rapper Jae Millz

A battle is a competition between rappers. Usually, contestants make up rhymes on the spot and the audience decides on the winner. Millz was successful enough that Puff Daddy (also known as P. Diddy) complimented him on his performance.

Crib, like battle, is a word that has been around for a while. But while battle dates from the early days of hip hop, crib goes all the way back to the 1800s. Despite its age, it is still commonly used and is the name of an MTV series on celebrity homes.

Words about living space seem to have staying power. Pad, which we now associate with 1960s apartments belonging to groovy (60s slang for great) hippies, has been used since the early part of the century.

Although many people now think of a pad as something to rest their computer mouse on, it continues to appear in hip hop lyrics with its earlier meaning. In 1994, Krayzie Bone rapped “Off into my pad, ’cause I gotta get my mask and shells to put in this twelve-gauge sawed-off,” on the Notorious B.I.G. song Notorious Thugs. And even last year, it showed up in the song Half a Sack by Three 6 Mafia.