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May 29, 2003

Slang of the Week: bling bling (noun)
shows of wealth, such as gold jewelry, diamonds, expensive cars, etc.

John came into the club wearing so much bling bling that it hurt our eyes to look at him.

Celebrity quote:
"I like early hip-hop. Schooly D and Ice T. That kinda stuff. When the lyrics were about street life, not 'Look at my Benz an' my Bitches an' my Bling-Bling.' Jam Master Jay was a genius, by the way. I loved the beat behind Rock Box."
-Rodney Anonymous of the group Dead Milkmen

As the Big Brovas note in the song Gotta Get, “If you want the bling bling you gotta have chi-ching.” Chi-ching, also called ching-ching and ka-ching, is money. The word comes from the sound of a cash register ringing up a sale.

Although the expression bling bling comes from hip-hop culture, it seems to be finding its way into the mainstream. A recent magazine advertisement for Hummers reads, “B to the L to the I to the N to the G.” In case you are not a car enthusiast, the Hummer is an incredibly huge and expensive vehicle originally built for military use. It has become a big status symbol in the US and is the ultimate bling bling. Its base price is over $110, 000 - that’s the cost of a three bedroom house in Chicago. Of course, if you live in Boston, as I do, you need at least twice as much chi-ching to buy a little condominium, so you may as well get the car and sleep in it!

What’s new at Slang City?
Is it a sin to knock over a Piggly Wiggly? Why do people go apey? What’s a railway bull? For the answers to these questions and more, take a look at our explanations of the hillbilly slang in O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the hobo slang in Big Rock Candy Mountain, a song from that movie.