I read on Cambridge Dictionaries’ About words blog that peng is a British slang adjective meaning pretty, very attractive. I am told by a coworker that it is of Caribbean origin, but have no more information. Can someone confirm this origin, and maybe provide some more information (e.g., what root it ultimately comes from)?
here's one definition of peng
Here's the Urban Dictionary reference:
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I've never heard it, but peng is UK slang of Jamaican Patois origin. It now means anything good, or someone attractive. It earlier referred to strong marijuana in the UK, and marijuana in Jamaica.
It appears to have become popular in London or Nottingham some five or six years ago, and has spread. For some very recent examples, check this Twitter search, and use this map of Twitter results to see the geographical spread. At the time of writing, it's being used mostly in England: a cluster in the north (Leeds, Huddersfield, Mirfield), Milton Keynes, Merseyside and London. Here's an example tweet (also with the opposite, deng):
The top definition at Urban Dictionary is from 2006:
The earliest from 2003:
And the most recent from 2012 covers all three meanings:
Some highlights from a recent discussion on Digital Spy from January 2012:
Jamaican Patois roots
In 1985, Frankie Paul ("Jamaica' Stevie Wonder") released a song called "Pass the Ku-Sheng Peng", sometimes spelled "Pass the Tu-Shung Peng", about smoking marijuana. You can listen to it on YouTube, the word sounds like "ku-shum-peng". And U-Brown released a 1983 song and album called Tu Sheng Peng (YouTube).
(Could it be related to kutchie? See also Mighty Diamonds' 1981 "Pass the Kutchie" song.)
I can't find much about this Patois term's origins, apart from an Urban Dictionary claim it's "Chinese term for marijuana" and a second claiming kushumpeng "word is considered to have French origin, but is used all over the world", and another says kushempeng is French, but found nothing to back those up.
protected by Hugo May 5 '12 at 22:04
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