Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Jewelry or fashion accessories, usually made of metal or other shiny material.
  • noun Showy or ostentatious items.
  • adjective Deliberately showy; ostentatious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Variant of bling bling.
  • noun Ostentatious display of richness or style.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun flashy, ostentatious jewelry

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Originally hip-hop slang, probably meant to suggest light flashing off showy jewelry.]

Examples

  • These dress-code offenders wear baggy pants, du-rags, flash their \ "bling bling\" like gold chains, and \ "decorative orthodontic appliances\" like gold teeth, and tattoos, bringing too much of black urban ghetto life to an elite college that fashions itself as the paragon of black manhood.

    Irene Monroe: Morehouse's Non-Tolerance for Gays

  • These dress-code offenders wear baggy pants, du-rags, flash their \ "bling bling\" like gold chains, and \ "decorative orthodontic appliances\" like gold teeth, and tattoos, bringing too much of black urban ghetto life to an elite college that fashions itself as the paragon of black manhood.

    Irene Monroe: Morehouse's Non-Tolerance for Gays

  • * bling bling* how do u make the chain photo frames at the bottom? so nice!

    Giddy Tigers

  • * bling bling* how do u make the chain photo frames at the bottom? so nice!

    Giddy Tigers

  • * bling bling* how do u make the chain photo frames at the bottom? so nice!

    Giddy Tigers

  • * bling bling* how do u make the chain photo frames at the bottom? so nice!

    Giddy Tigers

  • * bling bling* how do u make the chain photo frames at the bottom? so nice!

    Giddy Tigers

  • * bling bling* how do u make the chain photo frames at the bottom? so nice!

    Giddy Tigers

  • * bling bling* how do u make the chain photo frames at the bottom? so nice!

    Giddy Tigers

  • * bling bling* how do u make the chain photo frames at the bottom? so nice!

    Giddy Tigers

Comments

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  • A veritable pox upon society; both this word and that which it defines. Representative of everything that is awful about gaudy, materialistic, thoughtless celebrity culture.

    Sadly it could be a rather pretty word in and of itself if it didn't have the connotations it does; it could be a sea-bird or a kind of knot. Is anyone out there willing to help reclaim "bling"?

    November 1, 2007

  • I used to use it in reference to classic video games and the sounds they made, before the word took on the current definition. Actually I used the phrase bling bling, which was just a weird coincidence I guess.

    Also, I first mistyped "reference" as "reverence," which is a sad but true Freudian slip. :-P

    November 1, 2007

  • I could have made the same slip. (Is it sad that I don't even find anything sad about the slip? =P)

    November 15, 2007

  • I think it's a useful word. I saw a reference to 'pirate bling' in the window a costume shop the other day and I immediately knew what they were talking about. Much more so than if they had written 'pirate accessories'.

    November 23, 2007

  • It's baby talk!!

    February 3, 2008

  • Then there's warbling which is what Daddy Warbucks does over his ill-gotten gains.

    Annie: 'What's that noise?'

    'Oh, that's just Daddy Warbucks warbling over his warbling.'

    February 3, 2008

  • Google Books’ premature presbyopia render it useless for finding early citations of this particular word. I am nonetheless cheered to be reminded of H.G. Wells’ classic story, “The Country of the Bling”:

            http://books.google.com/books?id=sok7HQAACAAJ

    September 24, 2011

  • Searching for bling along with words related to jewelry in Google Books suggests that it appeared around 1999.

    September 24, 2011

  • This word needs to die. It particularly offends me when my very white, very uncool mother uses the word.

    January 16, 2012