In the book Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews, I encountered the following sentence, that I summarized to eliminate unnecesary information:

She weaved through the crowds of pedestrians in the red neon, pranging chaos of the boulevard.

What does "pranging" mean in this context? All I could find in the Cambridge dictionary was the verb "to prang", with the associated definition "to damage a vehicle slightly during a road accident".

Is this standard English? Is it US slang? What is the intended meaning?

  • The UD slang definition is probably intended. Commented Jun 17 at 21:43
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    A bit more context wouldn't hurt. Matthews seems to be American, but most definitions in Green's are British. Is the book British or American? How old is it? When is it set (red neon and boulevards don't typically go together)? You can roughly grok it from context (anything from loud to dangerous to overstimulating?) but maybe Matthews doesn't know what it means either.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 17 at 22:01
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    'Prang' was also used in WW2 to mean crash-landing an aeroplane (airplane), which (if the pilot survived) might hit the ground several times. Perhaps the author intended to portray how she progressed down the street, with continuing collisions. Commented Jun 17 at 22:49
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    I think Weather Vane has the measure of it. Imagine someone trying to make their way on a crowded avenue, and not altogether politely.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jun 17 at 23:29
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    She weaves through the crowd, and thus is the very opposite of pranging chaos.
    – TimR
    Commented Jun 19 at 10:44


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