swagger (jacking)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Oct 17 16:21:47 UTC 2008

Virginian-Pilot music writer Malcolm Venable on the rise of "swagger"
in hiphop/R&B:

"Is it just me, or is everyone talking about 'swagger' these days? ...
"It is no longer apropos to say you're 'biting' someone -- no, today,
if you copy someone's style, you are 'swagger jacking.' Beyonce did it
to Kylie..."

He links to:

"Last night at the 2007 BET Awards, Beyonce has supposedly swagger
jacked Kylie's Come Into My World dance sequence and costume changes
straight from Fever 2002 Kylie tour dvd. This is not the first time
Beyonce supposedly swagger jacked from someone's work."

Venable also notes that the black celebrity gossip site Bossip "is
always talking about someone's steez or 'swag.'"

"Steez" = 'style' (sometimes explained as a blend of "style" +
"ease"), as in Gang Starr's 1998 song "You Know My Steez" -- a sampled
line from Method Man's "Step by Step," also the title of H. Samy
Alim's 2004 study of hiphop style-shifting, published as PADS 89:

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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