Pop Some Tags

I learned something new today. From Macklemore. And my teenage son.

We were in the car. Macklemore’s Thrift Shop was playing. (Warning! Bad language!) Before it gets to the profanity and obscenity, just before, there’s a catchy beat and lyrics I could make out: “I’m gonna pop some tags.” Hmmm…I wondered out loud…what does that mean?

There must have been eye rolling.

My son knew. “Pop some tags,” he explained, “means to steal. He’s in the thrift shop.”

“Oh, I get it. The tags are the tags on the clothes. [And I’m thinking: what is that part of speech that means using the part to represent the whole? That Macklemore is very literary.] And pop means to steal?”

“He’s switching the tags on the clothes to have a lower priced tag on the thing he wants.”

Urban dictionary confirms that definition. However, further exploration reveals a darker definition, too. I’m wanting to like this Macklemore, but I just don’t know.

I also learned come-up, which means bargain. That seems like a more useful term in my life than pop some tags. But that means I was not correctly hearing my favorite line of the song, which I perceived as “one man’s trash is another man’s cummerbund.” That Macklemore, quite the poet.

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