Friday, January 12, 2007

Props to peeps... what the?

Global media has been a force to unify English across the globe. Basically we non-Americans find ourselves picking up U.S. words and phrases almost without noticing.

I suppose Sesame Street started it, it's very striking here in the land where Z is pronounced Zed to hear small children ending the alphabet with Zee.

But now I'm starting to wonder if some words are real or just some sort of local slang. I've heard the Engadget crew giving "props" to people and I wondered what they meant. I asked a few friends and they were equally mystified. We understand from the context that it's a good thing to get "props", but how is this word derived?

Turns out the dictionary on my Mac has an explanation:

"props |pr├Ąps| plural noun informal respect or credit due to a person : Erika gets props for the great work she did on the music."

The origin of this use is a little unclear but it does suggest: "ORIGIN late Middle English : probably from Middle Dutch proppe ‘support (for vines).’"

By the way, props to the Engadget crew for their excellent coverage of the MacWorld keynote.

1 comment:

Ben said...

According to this props is a short form of proper respect. It seems to me nobody quite knows. Reminds me of the debate at to what RAID stands for.