This week we’ll look at a couple of fun expressions from popular culture that you will be able to use in your daily interactions in a variety of contexts.
1. “Netflix Landing the Coen Brothers Is a Mic-Drop Moment in Its Feud with FX.”
2. “We’d been debating the issue of privacy, and it was all civil, until she suddenly stood up, claiming angrily that I’d never understand the issue properly, and walked straight out of the room. It was quite a mic drop moment!’
3. “I love watching those old rap battles where the overeager novice rapper drops the mic way too soon, and has to pick it up again when it’s his turn. Hilarious!”
You can talk about a mic drop moment, or you can say that someone ‘dropped the mic.’
Meanings and usage
In case you haven’t worked it out, ‘mic’ here refers to the microphone. ‘Mic drop’ is used to emphatically state that you have finished speaking and you have nothing more to say. If a comedian is performing in front of an audience, and is heckled excessively by people, s/he might say, “you guys can can only jeer, not laugh, so I’m out’ and drop the mic. Dropping the mic signifies a little more than just saying ‘I’m finished speaking.’ Depending on the context, such an act would also indicate defiance, a sense of finality, perhaps annoyance or anger, and confidence that one has said something impressive and final.
The mic drop gesture was popularised by comedians, and by rap artists. A sub-genre of rap is rap battles: two rap artists facing off against each other. One rapper sings (or raps) to criticise the other, to boast about himself, or to state some opinion, and the other artist then replies in rap (which is basically rhythmic poetry), and they take turns challenging and responding. When he is sure of a win, the winning rapper may finish his final say and drop the mic, to indicate that the battle is over.
1. Have you ever had a mic drop moment? You’ve very likely had more than one. Describe one such incident briefly in a few sentences.
2. And of course, try and do the (figurative) mic drop in the course of this week. You won’t have the mic in your hand, but do the gesture anyway. Here’s how you do it: Stand up straight, make your emphatic statement, looking straight at your audience, hold your arm out in front of you at shoulder height, hand in the fist position as if you are holding a mic in your hand, and then open your palm, as if you are letting the mic drop in front of you.
3. If people ask to explain what your gesture means, take the time to explain the mic drop concept to them in detail.
1. “The rent payment has been pending for a couple of months, and I can’t cover it all on my own, so you better pony up your share of the rent.”
2. “I thought the car rental was on a fixed rate basis; only later they told me I had pay extra for gas and service fees. I had no choice but to pony up the extra amount.”
3. “The tickets for the concerts are so expensive it’s just crazy. I’m a big fan of this singer though, so I’ll pony up whatever amount they ask for as long as I have the money.”
Meanings and usage
To pony up is to pay, especially in the context of money that you owe someone. So you might pony up for bills, rent, or repaying a loan to a friend. The expression is often used in the context of payments that are delayed, or are made reluctantly or with difficulty. As the examples above show, the expression is also used in contexts where the payment due comes as a surprise.
1. What are some routine transactions you do that seem like you have to ‘pony up’ rather than just pay? Phone data plans? Mobile games? Make a quick list.
2. For this week, every time you make a payment, describe it as having to ‘pony up.’ It’s fine if the description is not entirely accurate. Keep using the expression so you begin to internalise it, and it becomes a part of your active vocabulary.