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"What it is"

Posted by ESC on July 03, 2005

In Reply to: "What it is" posted by rhubarb on July 03, 2005

: What is the origin of the greeting, "What it is" or "What it is, what it was, what it will be"? Did it begin with the Black Panthers, or where?

One reference just says "what it is" it was a greeting originated in the 70s and 80s. "Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang" by Tom Dalzell (Merriam-Webster Inc., Springfield, Md., 1996) Another says that "What it B like" and "What it C like" were greetings relating to the Bloods and Crips. Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner by Geneva Smitherman (Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, N.Y., 1994). But I am not sure I believe that part.

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