Slang City Mail

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June 1, 2006

Slang of the Week: po po (noun)
the police

Because of the kilo of marijuana under the driver’s seat, Frank was a little nervous when he saw the po po behind him.

Celebrity quote:
I go around the corner what do I see?
Po pos followin’ me
Askin’ for my ID, who’s car I'm drivin’
Po pos botherin’ me.”
-Rapper Nate Dogg on the Fabolous song Po Po

Like cats and dogs, gangsta rappers and police officers are natural enemies. But this relationship is hardly unique. Many groups in history, some of them law-abiding, have created insulting terms for law officers.

Some of these are related to pork. Pig has been used on and off since the 1800s, though it is perhaps most associated with hippies in the sixties. The variation bacon has been around since the 1970s.

Another popular term for the police with a seventies connection is 5-0, which comes from the television show Hawaii Five-0. In the extremely popular series, produced from 1968-1980, Jack Lord (as Steve McGarrett) solved crimes and watched hula dancers in Honolulu. As D-12 rapper Kon Artis says in the song Pistol, Pistol, “Carry the nine (Tech 9 handgun) where I go/Bullets whistle and hit you while I’m shooting at five-0.”

What’s new at Slang City?
They see me rollin’/They hatin’/Patrollin’ and tryna catch me ridin' dirty…” Learn more about the relationship between gangstas and the police in our translation of Houston Rapper Chamillionaire’s Ridin’ Dirty.