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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The White Slave statue.jpg
Statue of a young 19th century prostitute with her pimp
Type Criminal
Fields of employment Brothels, street prostitution
Related jobs Prostitute, gigolo, mama-san, madam

A pimp is an agent for prostitutes who lives off their earnings. Pimping is illegal in most countries. The majority of pimps are men, with the female equivalent being known as a madam. The pimp-prostitute relationship can be abusive, with the pimp using psychological intimidation, manipulation and physical force to control the prostitutes he sends out to work.[1]



The word pimp first appeared in English in 1607 in a Thomas Middleton book entitled Your Five Gallants. It is believed to have stemmed from the French infinitive pimper meaning to dress up elegantly and from the present participle pimpant meaning alluring in dress seductive. Pimp used as a verb, meaning to act as a pimp, first appeared in 1636 in Massinger's book, The Bashful Lover.[2] In the 18th and 19th centuries, the term was commonly used to refer to informers.[3] A pimp can also mean "a despicable person".[4] The term can also be applied to a person who is considered a ladies' man.[2]

The verb "pimping" came up in the early 17th century.[2] In the first years of the 21st century, a new meaning of the word has emerged in the form of a transitive verb which means "to decorate" or "to gussy up". This new definition was made popular by Pimp My Ride, an MTV television show.[2] Although this new definition paid homage to hip-hop culture and its connection to street culture, it has now entered common, even mainstream commercial, use.[5] In medical context, the verb also means "to ask (a student) a question for the purpose of testing his knowledge".[6]

Pimping as a business

Pimping is sometimes operated like a business.[7] The pimp may have a bottom girl who serves as office manager, keeping the pimp apprised of law enforcement activity and collecting money from the prostitutes.[8] Pimps recognize a hierarchy among themselves. The least respected, or newer pimps, are the "popcorn pimps" and "wannabes". A pimp who uses violence and intimidation to control his prostitutes is called a "jonas pimp," while those pimps that use psychological trickery to deceive younger prostitutes into becoming hooked into the system are called "finesse pimps". An important part of the business is obtaining and maintaining a selection of prostitutes. Losing one's prostitute to another pimp is known as getting "peeled". Informing a pimp that one of his prostitutes has switched pimps is a professional courtesy, and any attempt to respond to this courtesy with violence will quickly get the violent pimp labeled a "Gorilla" or "Godzilla". Prostitutes that move between pimps often are labeled as a "choosey Susie". In addition, a prostitute may "bounce" from pimp to pimp without paying the "pimp moving" tax.[9]

The pimp business has an internal structure for dealing with rule breakers built around violence. For example, pimps have been known to employ a "pimp stick," which is two coat hangers wrapped together, in order to subdue unruly prostitutes.[8] A variation is a "pimp cane", a cane used for similar purposes.citation needed Another punishment for unruly prostitutes is to "trunk" them, where the pimp locks the prostitute in the trunk of a car. Although prostitutes are supposedly free to move between pimps, this movement sometimes leads to violence. For example, a prostitute could be punished for merely looking at another pimp; this is considered "reckless eyeballing".[8] Violent force is also used on customers, for example if the customer attempts to evade payment or becomes unruly with a prostitute.

Use of Tattoos

There is also a widespread practice among many pimps of tattooing prostitutes as a mark of "ownership".[10] The tattoo will often be the pimp's street or even his likeness. The mark might be as discreet as ankle tattoo, or blatant as a neck tattoo, or large scale font across the prostitute's lower back, thigh, chest, or buttocks.[11] The tattoos act doubly as a mark of ownership to other men and as a means to humiliate and dehumanize their prostitutes. If a prostitute comes under the domain of another pimp, the previous pimp's tattoo might either be removed or simply crossed out and replaced with her new pimp's name.

Use of the Internet

As of 2009, prostitution on the internet has been flourishing as many sex workers have moved to internet sites such as Craigslist to solicit sexual encounters. In turn, pimps have used these sites to broker their women.[12] Some tech-savvy pimps use social networking sites such as MySpace or Twitter to recruit young, troubled, and often underage users. According to Ernie Allen, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC, the internet has given pimps the ability to recruit young people not just from poor, broken homes, but from a broad spectrum of society.[12]

Notable pimps/madams

See also

  • American Pimp, a 1999 documentary by the Hughes Brothers consisting of first person interviews with people involved in the pimping lifestyle in the U.S.


External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to pimp article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Etymology 1




pimp (plural pimps)

  1. A person who solicits customers for prostitution and acts as manager for prostitutes; a panderer.
  2. (African American Vernacular slang) A man who can easily attract women.
Derived terms


to pimp

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to pimp (third-person singular simple present pimps, present participle pimping, simple past and past participle pimped)

  1. (intransitive) To act as a procurer of prostitutes; to pander.
  2. (transitive) To prostitute someone.
    The smooth-talking, tall man with heavy gold bracelets claimed he could pimp anyone.
  3. (transitive, US, African American Vernacular) To excessively customize something, especially a vehicle, according to ghetto standards (also pimp out).
    You pimped out that AC (air conditioner) f'real (for real), dawg.
  4. (transitive, medicine, slang) To ask progressively harder and ultimately unanswerable questions of a resident or medical student (by a senior member of the medical staff).
    • 2004, Robert A. Blume, Arthur W. Combs, The Continuing American Revolution: A Psychological Perspective, page 183
      Only an attending physician can pimp a chief resident; the chief resident and attending can pimp a junior resident; they all three can pimp an intern.

See also

External links

Etymology 2

Wikipedia has an article on:


From Celtic numerals.

Cardinal number


  1. (Cumbrian and Old Welsh dialectal) five in Cumbrian and Welsh sheep counting


  • Wright, Peter [1995]. Cumbrian Chat, 7, Dalesman Publishing Company. ISBN 185-568-092-0.
  • Deakin, Michael A.B. [2007]. Leigh-Lancaster, David The Name of the Number, 75, Australian Council for Educational Research. ISBN 0864317573. Retrieved on 2008-05-17.
  • Varvogli, Aliki [2002]. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News: A Reader's Guide, 24-25, Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 0826452337. Retrieved on 2008-05-17.


Simple English

A pimp is a man who controls one or more prostitutes, in order to make money from them.

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