At the risk of being labelled a spoilsport or an old-fashioned ignoramus, Sidelines would like to take a stand. Yesterday, DutchNews.nl received a press release advertising – of all things – a ‘Pimp Your Valentine’ weekend.

It promises a weekend spent designing valentine cards, mastering calligraphy and writing the perfect love letter – all deeply romantic stuff and nothing to do with pimping.
For those who aren’t quite sure, ‘to pimp’ means ‘to solicit clients for a prostitute or brothel’ (source: Oxford Dictionary). Prostitute Your Valentine? Does the Museum for Communication in The Hague, where the event is taking place, really know what it’s talking about? It would seem not.
After MTV’s ‘Pimp My Ride’, which was an bling bling makeover for ready-for-the-scrap-heap cars, it seems the world, – and the Netherlands in particular – has gone ‘pimp’ mad. Before we know it, the word will appear as an option in multiple-choice spelling tests in schools, meaning ‘renovate’.
The Dutch confusion may well stem from their interesting use of another word – loverboy – which apparently means someone who encourages a girl to become a prostitute. Sidelines always thought that was a pimp. Doubtless, the Museum for Communication will have an explanation.

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