|Slang City Mail|
|July 29, 2004|
Slang of the
Week: jump the broom (verb phrase)
This phrase sometimes appears in rap and hip hop lyrics, though the custom it comes from is little practiced these days. Jumping the broom goes back to the years before the Civil War, when legal marriages were forbidden to African slaves in the United States.
Couples would perform the ritual of jumping over a broom to symbolize their new start in life together. The rite has made something of a comeback and Jumping the Broom, which details this and other traditional African American wedding customs, is now the name of a bestselling wedding planner by Harriette Cole.
But not everyone is interested in romantic traditions. Take Killer Mike, for example, who says in A.D.I.D.A.S., “From the tour bus to the lobby, elevator to the room, we can jump each others bones but there's no jumpin' brooms.” To jump someone’s bones is a vulgar term for having sex.
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