Guido x 2

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Jan 23 21:22:27 UTC 2010

At 4:16 PM -0500 1/23/10, Mark Mandel wrote:
>IMHO, euphemism. It has evolved somewhat, but not that far. OED's relevant
>def., with cites from the first to the time of yours.
>     1. a. Originally: a person who arranges opportunities for (illicit)
>sexual intercourse; a procurer. Now: a man who takes a proportion of the
>earnings of a prostitute, usually in return for arranging clients, providing
>protection, etc.
>1600 B. JONSON Euery Man out of his Humor III. i. sig. Iiiv, Punt. What is
>he for a Creature? Car. A Pimpe, a Pimpe, that I haue obseru'd yonder, the
>rarest Superficies of a Humor.
>1666 S. PEPYS Diary 10 June (1972) VII. 159 The Duke of York is wholly given
>up to his new mistress... Mr. Brouncker it seems was the pimp to bring it
>1711 R. STEELE Spectator No. 51. {page}6 He has been used as a Pimp to
>ravishing Tyrants, or successful Rakes.
>1780 W. COWPER Progress of Error 326 Ye pimps..Who fasten without mercy on
>the fair, And suck, and leave a crawling maggot there.
>1825 Mariners' Mag. 17 Sept. 226 The moment a vessel lands, these landlords
>and their pimps stand ready to conduct the sailors where the greatest
>inducements to debauchery and intemperance exist.
>1871 B. TAYLOR tr. Goethe Faust (1875) I. xi. 135 A fitter woman ne'er was
>made To ply the pimp and gypsey trade.
>What's GB?

Google Books (in this context).

So a pimp was a pander(er) before he began to specialize as above.

>On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 4:08 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at>wrote:
>>  Now, for "pimp": did the term evolve over the tears? An 1874 dictionary
>>  on GB lists pimp (n.) as "a man who provides gratification for the lust
>>  of others". Is this a euphemism or did the meaning really change?
>>      VS-)
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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