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Get Your Head Sprung!

Dear AC,

In the song "headsprung" by LL Cool J, the chorus is "everybody get a headsprung." My question is wtf* is headsprung?

Sincerely,

Kirill L.

Dear Kirill,

I'm sure you're not the only one wondering about that. If LL Cool J is not the originator of this word, he is certainly the first to introduce it to the public at large. LL himself explains, “It means go nuts, basically black out by whatever means and go crazy up in the club. Whatever getting your head sprung means to you, that's what it represents.”

Hmm... Well, if you've listened to the song lyrics, (or seen the video) you might have a better idea of what it means to him. The usual gorgeous bikini-wearing dancers go wild as LL sings about his personal party in the back of the club. Here's a sample of the sexy lyrics he delivers with a wink:

Kinda thick ma, let's get down, so get wit it
I'm saying what time wanna dip wit it?**

But he also cautions these women, “You better have I.D.” That he wants to make sure his companions for the evening are old enough to spend time with him could mean that he's worried about serving alcohol to minors, but I seriously doubt it. As the old saying goes, 16 will get you 20 (sleeping with an underage girl results in a long jail sentence).

So far, I would say that this ambiguous new term is like “get your freak on,” offering one fairly innocent meaning about having a good time and another more sexual possibility. But who knows what it will end up meaning once it makes its way into the general lexicon. Or whether that will ever happen—it might just disappear, as many new slang words do.

Your pal,

A. C. Kemp

October 20, 2004

Update/February 10, 2005: I recently received an interesting email from a reader who said, "What it really refers to is getting oral sex and ejaculating. The 'head' in 'Get your Headsprung' refers to the head of the penis and oral sex. This term has been around (at least since I was in high school 10 years ago in Brooklyn, NY). Guys used to use it when they got girls to give the 'head' or oral sex."

While I was unable to find other sources that verify this origin of the term, it certainly sounds reasonable. But other current instances of the word I've seen since writing this column make me suspect the meaning has changed somewhat. For example, in the January issue of VIBE magazine, LL Cool J says of VIBE Awards cohost Tyra Banks, "When it comes to getting headsprung, see my girl Tyra." He is clearly trying to compliment her, so it is much likelier that he means she knows how to have a good time than that she will give men great oral sex.

*wtf: more polite abbreviation of "what the fuck"
** in more formal terms, “Shapely woman, let's dance. When would you like to leave with me?” Both get down and dip have more than one meaning. Get down is a term that can mean “dance,” “enjoy yourself,” or “have sex.” Dip is also a Standard English dance term and can mean “have sex.” What they mean here is probably all of the above.

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