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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.

Example:
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.