signify

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signify

slang To engage in a spoken-word contest with someone else in which both people trade boasts about themselves and insincere taunts about each other. Most common in African-American communities. A white friend of mine signifying with us at a party one time, but he left in a huff because he took all the insults to heart. Learning to signify with my friends and classmates was as big a part of my education as a school was when I was growing up.

signify

1. in. to cause trouble for fun; to stir things up. (Black.) What are all these cats signifying about anyway?
2. in. to try to look more important than one really is; to brag; to strut one’s stuff. (Black.) See that dude signify like somebody important?
References in periodicals archive ?
Tulsu refers not to a signified or a fixed locus, but to a space in which the man enjoys his existence, as it is confirmed by the very words of the man: "You know, each and every person has a different reason for being.
Chemists may tell us that [H.sub.2]O is the natural kind that plays roughly the role our subject associates with the term "water." In this case, [H.sub.2]O is a good candidate for what is signified by his use of the term "water": any charitable interpreter should recognize that this assignment vindicates our speaker's most important commitments about the property his word picks out--even if it does not vindicate every aspect of his understanding of the term.
(41.) Gerrish's treatment of Calvin's concern with and for the object (Gerrish 1993b, 16768, 177-80) is more nuanced and convincing than Waswo's identification of Calvin's concept of symbolism with Coleridge's: "a mystical participation of the sign in the thing, of the temporal, material symbol in the eternal, spiritual signified" (255).
Names of characters as well as names of objects are also signified. Mosquito was given her nickname as a child when she experienced an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite.
Hurston once explained the title of her first novel by referring to the protecting plant in chapter 4 of Jonah (Hemenway 192), yet she actually signified on the whole Old Testament book to create a more telling analogue for her preacher's hermeneutical struggle.
Now, the consistent reading of Sherman's "Untitled (Film Stills)" -- all of them, incidentally, untitled--as "examples" of one or another general law (whether feminist or humanist) has meant that no one looks at the initial relation of signifier and signified to see how they are constructed.
His consistent misspelling of the title of N.W.A's album Straight Outta Compton deals a dose of signified disrespect to the music, while contributing to the Cultural Studies tradition which correctly transcribes difficult passages from Hegel and Baudrillard and then, as does Paul Gilroy in The Black Atlantic, misquotes LL Cool J's "'Round the Way Girl." These "incidental" errors represent and suppose precisely the division their works deny.
Even Dust Tracks has been signified on in this way, and ironically the text itself is performing the signification despite assumptions about the stability of print.
Signifyin(g) in black rhetorical strategies, Gates notes, is often representative of the signifier "who wreaks havoc on 'the signified'" ("'Blackness'" 131).
The poem is initiated by a reference to the poet's exclusion from prosperity and affluence, signified by the closed door of the white house.
Like Gates, Busby argues that Ellison did not flatly copy masterworks from the traditions he felt deeply related to but signified upon them; that is, he viewed them from his own unique black perspective, thus transfiguring them and incorporating them into a new vision.
(6.) It is true that Frado does come near to a "conversion" at one point in the narrative, and that letters appended to the text suggest that Wilson herself was a "good Christian." However, religious conversion is not essential to Frado/Wilson's "recovery," nor is it even instrumental in her/their " Indeed, recovery and salvation are "signified" upon and secularized in Our Nig.
What we have, then, are two essentialisms: an essentialism of the signified (absolute sacredness/God/"I am who I am") and an essentialism of the signifier (absolute profanity/Iago/"I am not what I am").
Two texts separate Citizen A from Text 1: (Secondary) Text 2 - the "fixed literary verse" signified by the configurations of sixteen palm nuts dialed sixteen times - and (Tertiary) Text 3 - babalawo's recitation of the "fixed verse text" of Text 2.
Boyarin also points to cultural codes that both consciously or unconsciously "constrain and allow the production (not creation) of new texts within the culture." However, while questioning the relationship of signs and signifieds throughout the book, Boyarin maintains a structuralist position, affirming a less ethnocentric, yet relatively closed rabbinic system of midrashic literature.