New & Forthcoming
From the Blog
Something went wrong
Refresh your page to try again
"Chin music" is quintessential American slang that over the decades has meant everything from fancy talk to a swift punch in the jaw. In the 1920s, it was a synonym for gossip. Before that, it was used to describe baseball fans heckling an unsuspecting umpire. And later, it meant a high-and-tight fastball, a pitch that told the batter, "hey buddy, back off the plate or next time it's your noggin." Today, the phrase is used in cricket in much the same way, and less subtly (surprise, surprise) in professional wrestling, when Shawn Michaels delivers his finishing kick, known as "sweet chin music." It's in rap (Method Man, "Suspect Chin Music"),, pop (Nick Jonas, "Jealous"), and of course, literature (Stephen Crane, "The Red Badge of Courage," Mark Twain, "Roughing It").
That scrappy little piece of American slang has staying power!
Know of another usage of the phrase? Let us know!