"To ___ slap"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Dec 10 13:15:00 UTC 2000

>_bitch-slap_ is relatively common and goes back around ten
>years. The only other such term with any real currency, as
>far as I can tell, is _pimp-slap._ I've heard a few others
>like _dope-slap_ but only rarely.
>Jesse Sheidlower

But what do they mean?

I've personally encountered only "bitch-slap", rarely and only in a
figurative sense, approximately = "slap" (figurative): something like "I've
been bitch-slapped" apparently approx. = "I've been told off strongly". It
wasn't clear to me from my very few examples whether the sense was "slapped
as if by a bitch [= 'woman' or 'obnoxious woman']" or "slapped with some
bitching [= 'complaining']" or "slapped as one would slap a bitch [=
'woman' or perhaps 'dog']". I don't have any sense of sexual or ethnic
specificity, although I don't remember the exact broad contexts: I think
all my examples were in writing or on the Internet.

A quick look shows this only in the Cassell slang dictionary: "bitch slap"
(v., 1990's, US Black) = "for a woman to hit, occas. to harangue, her male

This book also shows "pimp slap" (n., from 1970's, US Black) = "an
open-handed slap across the face." Essentially just "slap" (n.), I guess.

Do these reflect the current usage under discussion? The Cassell entries
would be consistent with "X-slap" = "slap as delivered by an X"; then would
"dope-slapped" = "slapped as if by a dope"? Or is the usage sometimes
"X-slap" = "slap as one would slap an X"?

-- Doug Wilson

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