Etymology of Rap

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Fri Jun 2 15:00:39 UTC 2000

Well...isn't this typical of the problems with slang.
Meanings vary from neighborhood to neighborhood,
school to school, city to city, ethnicity to
ethnicity, clique to clique, generation to generation,
year to year, and sometimes it seems even day to day.
When I was growing up in the 60's "to rap" meant to
give so-and-so a hard time, to chew them out, to tell
them off.  In the 70's, "to rap" was simply to talk
among friends, casually, with no subject or purpose
implied. The meaning of hitting on or talking up a
member of the opposite sex - female on male as well as
male on female - also fit in there somewhere but was
pretty much context dependent, and therefore often
ambiguous, as I recall.

--- "Anita G. Foster" <anitagf at MAIL2.GIS.NET> wrote:
> For more information on rappin'  - "When I first
> heard the expression
> 'rappin'' or 'runnin' a rap,' it had a sexual
> connotation.  The object of
> the rap was to 'get a girl's nose open,' or 'get
> into her pants.'  The
> expression was used in other ways, too, as described
> in Reality 66."
> For additional background see pages 210 to 213 in
> Herbert L. Foster's
> "Ribbin', Jivin', and Playin the Dozens:  The
> Persistent Dilemma In Our
> Schools."  published by Herbert L. Foster
> Associates, Inc. 1990.  In
> Ribbin', I describe, discuss, and explain black male
> street corner language
> and behavior as it is played out in our schools.
> Because so many teachers,
> black and white, do not understand the black male
> students' language and
> behavior, he is too often referred to special
> education and caught up in
> discipline problems.  see:
> http:/
> At 07:56 PM 05/27/2000 -0700, you wrote:
> >What is the origin of the term Rap?  The earliest
> meaning I know of is a
> >man's conversation with women in order to "put the
> moves on her," but as
> >far as I know, even that definition is not very
> old.
> >
> >Jordan Rich
> >Independent Scholar
> >

James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
SLC, UT                        |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at     |whether we act quickly and decisively
                               |or slowly and cautiously.

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