In Reply to: Pimp-out/Pimp-up posted by Smokey Stover on November 12, 2008 at 19:55:
: : I read the UK science rag entitled "New Scientist," and I generally find its word choice fairly unremarkable. Today I encountered this uncharacteristic headline:
: : Pimped-up T-cells seek out and destroy HIV
: : I didn't know that "pimped-out" (US?) and "pimped-up" (UK?) had become mainstream, and I'd appreciate knowing more about their emerging usage. There's a television show in the US called "Pimp My Ride," and there was controversy some time ago about a reporter describing a US President's daughter as "pimped-out" for a social event.
: : Thanks!
: I don't belong to the right generation to answer your question, but it seems obvious that I'm not the only one. I suspect thqt no one cool enough to know the current usage of "pimp" as a verb would think of talking about the President's daughter as "pimped up." Perhaps the phrase was used as a mistaken offshoot of "primp," although the historical use of "primp" does not require "up" (except perhaps used with the past participle as a modifier).
: As for the T-cells, why not use the much more easily understood "pumped up"?
: I understand pimping a car (Pimp my ride) to mean turning it into a "pimpmobile," that is, a ride suitable for a pimp. This would mean a car that was ostentatious, perhaps not only gaudy but powerful, and plainly expensive. No doubt there is a lot of variation in what pimps are really like (some, I hear, are quiet grandmothers), but the classic picture is of a youngish man who likes to dress and to drive with gaudy ostentation.
: I don't think that the American usage of "pimped out" is parallel to U.K. "pimped up." "Pimped out" refers to what a pimp does, that is, turn female acquaintances into a source of income--he pimps them out to whatever customers are willing to pay for their services. I believe that "pimped up" means the same in both countries.
I did not see or hear the reporter's remark that the President's daughter had been pimped out, so it is possible that the reporter meant it. It's hard for me to believe that someone would make such a rude and calumnious remark, even if he meant it only figuratively,