Slang City Mail

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June 17, 2004

Slang of the Week: bucket (noun)
Old car in poor condition

Sam wasn’t worried that the parking valet would take his car out for a ride while he was eating dinner – it was a real bucket.

Celebrity quote:
“Everybody has had a bucket in their life”
- Xzibit, rapper and host of MTV’s Pimp My Ride

Ugly people can get a new look on the reality show Extreme Makeover. People with ugly houses can get a new look on TV’s Trading Spaces. But what about ugly cars?

MTV’s Pimp My Ride is a makeover show of the strangest sort. The show’s title comes from the word ride, meaning a car, and pimp (prostitutes’ manager), a profession associated with expensive and flashy automobiles. Xzibit takes lucky guests’ buckets to West Coast Customs car shop where they are not just repaired, but made into amazing machines outfitted with special accessories. One car got a remote control camera so the owner could take pictures while driving, and a pickup truck on the show got a ping pong table installed in the back.

Hoopty (sometimes hooptie) is a another word for bucket often heard in rap music, such as 50 Cent’s 21 Questions. Older synonyms include the vintage tin lizzie (1910s) and struggle-buggy (1920s), as well as my personal favorite from later in the twentieth century, crapmobile.

What’s new at Slang City?
In this week’s Ask AC, Jennifer asks “What’s a chode?” WARNING: this is a bad word! And if you've ever wondered what I do when I'm not writing this newsletter, check out this week's Christian Science Monitor article on my slang class for foreign students.