Slang City Mail

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February 2, 2007
Slang of the Week: props (noun)

Though she didn’t have a date,
Sandy got major props from the junior class for the amazing job she did decorating the gym for the prom.

Celebrity quote:
“He disliked the threesome, and he knew the feelings were mutual. There was especially bad blood between him and Kyra. Angel always took Kyra’s side over Snake’s when there was a problem, and that drove him crazy. But he still had to give them their props. At least they were trying to do something with their lives. They were determined not to let the ghetto take them out.”
-Author Wahida Clark, from the book Thugs and the Women Who Love Them

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a book that was so fascinating I was recommending it to all my friends. Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, which I found it in a thrift store for fifty cents last weekend, is not such a book. Still, I knew I had to have it when I saw the hysterical title. What it lacks in literary value, it makes up for in melodrama.

Angel, who spends most of her time buying designer clothes with bad checks, is in love with Snake the pimp. But she knows Snake is bad for her! And so do I. He has already beaten two hoes and I'm only on page 18. 

At least he gives his girlfriend’s pals their proper respects—which is the longer expression props comes from. While it’s associated with rap music, it began its evolution long before rap was popular. In the Aretha Franklin classic Respect, she tells her man, “I’m about to give you all my money, but all I’m asking in return, honey, is that you give me  my propers when you get home.” Hopefully, Angel will learn that lesson by the end of this book!

Take a look in our bookstore for books and DVDs on all kinds of slang! This week’s pick: Yes Yes Y'All: The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop's First Decade. Based on the "Hip-Hop Nation" exhibit at Seattle's Experience Music Project and the project's ongoing Oral History Program, this history of the beginnings of hip-hop in 1970s New York City is a lavishly illustrated and lovingly compiled homage to the many artists who contributed to the birth of what soon became and remains today, more than 25 years later a worldwide cultural institution…