This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Spot the frippet: bling.

Bling, or bling-bling. This is a newish word for stuff which might in the olden days (by which I mean the second half of the 20th Century) have been described by the adjective flash.

It means something shiny worn to show off. It might be made of diamonds or gold (real or fake), and it might be jewellery, a phone, or even toothcaps.

(Actually, I suppose a diamond-encrusted toilet-brush would count, too, though those are seldom worn; so I suppose I should have said displayed to show off rather than worn.)

Bling is said to be an imitation of the sound of light flashing off jewels. (This, I realise, makes no sense at all, but that sort of thing is established enough as an idea to have its own literary name, idiophone.)

Your best chance of spotting some really spectacular bling would be on a slightly out-of-date rap artist, a film star who's had more than three face-lifts, or a female child under the age of six.

Put on your shades and enjoy!

Spot the frippet: bling. This word may come from the comedian Martin Lawrence's parody of the Colgate toothpaste advertisement, as in: "the Colgate ring of confidence: bling!*".
I understand it was used in its current sense by Jesse West in Super Cat's 1993 hit Dolly My Baby (Remix).

It's a useful word, too.

*Sound of someone hitting a triangle (or glockenspiel?) to show how sparkly teeth can be.

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