The Year in Rap Neologisms


Last month, The New Oxford American Dictionary named Sarah Palin’s accidental portmanteau “refudiate” the word of the year. The term beat out the other 2010 coinages up for the prize — “Gleek,” “retweet,” “vuvuzela,” and “nom nom.” But it seems to us that one source of the best new terms of 2010 was woefully neglected: the Billboard Hip-Hop chart. From weird mash-ups to interesting abbreviations, rap lyrics a are a source like none other to pick up new vocabulary. So we’ve compiled the year in the best new rap neologisms. Some of them are freshly minted, some of them simply had a surge in popularity this year.

ATF (noun) – An abbreviation for “All Things Fresh,” Drake’s official website. As in: “I rep that ATF in case you need to be reminded/ And the bandwagon’s full but you can try to run behind it.”

Origin: “Thank Me Now” by Drake

Big Faces (noun) – A term for the newly-issued hundred dollar bills — the ones with the bigger pictures of Benjamin Franklin. As in: “I’ve got a pocket for of big faces.”

Origin: This term has been around a while, since the revamping of US paper currency began. Rick Ross uses it in “Hustlin'” and Gucci Mane in “Wasted,” among others. But this year, with the even newer issue of the C-note on the way — and hence even bigger faces — the term has seen a surge in popularity as in Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow.”

B.M.F. (verb) – An abbreviation for “blowin’ money fast,” and the title of Rick Ross’ hit summer jam. References also the Black Mafia Foundation, a Detroit-based drug trafficking ring that helped promote a number of hip-hop artists, most prominently Young Jeezy. As in: “I’m B.M.F. in this bar right now.”

Origin: Rick Ross

Cuffin’ (verb) – Settling down with one lady. As in: “Boy you cuffin’, claim a dame.”

Origin: Cam’ron’s “Cuffin'” (ft. Gucci Mane) introduced this in late 2009, but it gained steam in 2010, particularly with Big Boi’s new album (he uses it in “Shine Blockas”).

Dougie (verb) To swagger. Also: to dance in a Bollywood-inspired way. Can also be used as a noun, as in “All the ladies love my Dougie” or an adjective, as in: “Before we go out I need to get Dougie.” Refers to 1990s hip-hopper Doug E. Fresh.

Origin: Coined before the song, but popularized by Cali Swag District’s inescapable song “Teach Me How to Dougie” this year.

Dunk (noun): A 1970s Chevrolet with oversized wheels or other modifications, also known as a Hoop-D. As in: “I pull up in the Dunk followed by the yellow one.”

Origin: Wacka Flocka Flame’s “Oh Let’s Do It”

Hashtag Rap (noun) – A phrase use to describe a style of rapping used by the Young Money crew, such as Drake, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj. As explained by Kanye West in his interview with Funkmaster Flex: “That’s what we call it when you take the ‘like’ or ‘as’ out of the metaphor. ‘Flex, sweater red — firetruck.'”

Origin: Early 21st century (Kanye claims credit for starting it with his song “Barry Bonds”)

Malibooyah (noun) – A drink made out of Malibu rum and Grey Goose vodka. Aka, Kanye’s Dark Twisted Cocktail Recipe. As in: “It’s that Goose and Malibu I call it Malibooyah”

Origin: Kanye West’s “Monster”

Pop Tags (verb) – To be constantly pulling price tags off your clothes because you’re so rich and presumably never need to return anything. As in: “Pop the Giuseppe tags like it’s American Apparel”

Origin: Not a new term, but used frequently in 2010 in songs like “Teach me How to Dougie” by Cali Swag District and “Monster” by Kanye West, among others.

Scurt (adj. or interjection) – An onomatopoeic description for the sound of brakes. The term is mostly favored by southern rappers.

Origin: Debated. Most recently used in “Oh Let’s Do It” by Waka Flocka Flame

Spiked-out (adj.) – Like Spike Lee, sitting court-side at a Knicks game looking serious. As in: “I be Spiked out, I can trip a referee”

Origin:”Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z. AS the Nets owner, Jay-Z frequently ribs Spike for his hissy fits at Knicks games

Toot it and boot it (verb) – A phrase that means to have a one-night stand, ie, hit it and quit it. As in: “She fell in love and she felt stupid/ cuz you know I toot it and boot it.”

Origin: YG’s seminal text on the subject, “Toot it and Boot it”

Trap music (noun) – A phrase for “drug-dealing music” or “music for drug dealers.” As in: “Put on that trap music, we about to grind”

Origin: A popular term amongst southern rappers, particularly T.I., who named an album Trap Muzik. This year, Wacka Flocka Flame dropped it everywhere.

The X (noun) – Abbreviation for the Bronx. As in: “Catch me at the X with OG at the Yankee Game.”

Origin: “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z

‘Yac (noun) – Shortened version of “cognac,” favored by southern rappers such as Lil Wayne, Trey Songz, and Big Boi. As in: “Sippin’ yac, bending ’round corners in the ‘Lac

Origin: Unclear. Used in Big Boi’s “Shutterbugg” and Trey Songz’ “Bottoms Up”