Slang of the
Week: ride or die (adjective phrase)
loyal in good times and bad
Seth had dated a lot of women before, but this was
different. Danielle was his ride or die
“Who’s gonna be that ride or die
chick for me tonight?
Yeah, yeah, I need a girlfriend for me.”
-J-Boog in the B2K song Girlfriend
This phrase has changed meanings in the last few years. The original version
was an ultimatum. As Tupac Shakur asked in Hail Mary, “What do we
have here now? Do you wanna ride or die?”
In other words, if you are a part of this group, you had better be ready
to go with us, even if we are going to do something dangerous or illegal.
A play on the expression was also used in politics recently when P. Diddy’s
Citizen Change voter registration drive used “Vote or Die”
as its slogan. While there may be some instances in which the “die”
is literal, it more often means “refuse to go along.”
Nowadays, it is often used about women who are willing to stay with a
partner through hard times. In that context, it’s usually a modifier,
but not always. In Monica’s U Should’ve Known Better, she
sings, “You should've known that I would stay by your side, you
should've known your girl was gonna ride or die.”
What’s new at Slang City?
We’ve got some new photos in Real English: T-shirt Slogans, Graffiti,
and Signs of the Times.