Pimp: The Story of My Life

Pimp: The Story of My Life

by Iceberg Slim


View All Available Formats & Editions


Robert (Iceberg Slim) Beck's first book is told without bitterness and with no pretense at moralizing. It is the smells, the sounds, the fears and the petty triumphs in the world of the street pimp.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847673329
Publisher: Canongate Books
Publication date: 02/28/2009
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Iceberg Slim, also known as Robert Beck, was born in Chicago in 1918 and was initiated into the life of the pimp at age eighteen. He briefly attended the Tuskegee Institute but dropped out to return to the streets of the South Side, where he remained, pimping until he was forty-two. After several stints in jail he decided to give up the life and turned to writing. Slim folded his life into the pages of seven books based on his life. Catapulted into the public eye, Slim became a new American hero, known for speaking the truth whether that truth was ugly, sexy, rude, or blunt. He published six more books based on his life and Slim died at age 73 in 1992; one day before the Los Angeles riots.

Read an Excerpt


  • APPLE, New York City

    BANG, injection of narcotics

    BEEF, criminal complaint

    BELL, notoriety connected to one’s name

    BILL, a hundred dollars

    BIT, prison term

    BITE, price

    BLACK GUNION, powerful, thick, dark, gummy marijuana

    BOO KOOS, plenty

    BOOSTER, shoplifter

    BOOT, Negro

    BOSS, very good, excellent

    BOTTOM WOMAN, pimp’s main woman, his foundation

    BOY, heroin

    BREAKING LUCK, a whore’s first trick of working day

    BRIGHT, morning

    BULL SCARE, blustering bluff

    BUSTED, arrested and/or convicted

    C, cocaine

    CANNON, pickpocket

    CAN, derriere

    CAP, a small glycerin container for drugs

    CAT, female sexual organ

    CHILI PIMP, small-time one-whore pimp

    CHIPPIED, light periodic use of heavy drugs

    CHUMP CHANGE, just enough money for basic needs

    CIRCUS LOVE, to run the gamut of the sexual perversions

    COAST, somnolent nodding state of heroin addict

    COCKTAILED, to put a marijuana butt into the end of a conventional cigarette for smoking

    COME DOWN, return to normal state after drug use

    COP AND BLOW, pimp theory, to get as many whores as leave him

    COPPED, get or capture

    CRACK WISE, usually applied to an underworld neophyte who spouts hip terminology to gain status

    CROAK, kill

    CROSSES, to trick or trap

    CUT LOOSE, to refuse to help, to disdain

    DAMPER, a place holding savings, a bank, safe deposit box, etc.; to stop or quell

    DERBY, head, refers to oral copulation

    DIRTY, in possession of incriminating evidence

    DOG, older, hardened whore, or young sexual libertine

    DOSSING, sleeping

    DOWN, a pimp’s pressure on a whore, or his adherence to the rules of the pimp game; when a whore starts to work

    FIX, to bribe so an illegal operation can go with impunity; also an injection of narcotics

    FLAT-BACKER, a whore who gets paid for straight sexual intercourse

    FREAK, sexual libertine

    FRENCH, oral copulation

    G, one thousand dollars

    GANGSTER, marijuana

    GEORGIAED, to be taken advantage of sexually without receiving money

    GIRL, cocaine

    GORILLA, to use physical force

    GORILLA PIMP, no brains, all muscle

    GRAND, one thousand dollars

    H, heroin

    HARD LEG, an older, street-hardened used-up whore

    HEAT, police, or adverse street conditions for hustlers

    HIDE, wallet

    HOG, Cadillac

    HOOKS, hands

    HORNS, ears

    HYPE, addict

    JASPER, lesbian

    JEFFING, low level con

    JIB, mouth

    KEISTER, derriere

    KITE, note

    KITTY, Cadillac

    LARCENY, to turn against by vocal condemnation

    LINES, money

    LIP, lawyer

    MACKING, pimping

    MARK, victim; sucker

    MITT MAN, a hustler who uses religion and prophecy to con his victims, usually the victims are women

    MOP, hair

    MUCKTY-MUCKS, a temptuous term applied to the rich and privileged by the poor and underprivileged

    MURPHY, con game played on suckers looking for whores

    NUT ROLL, a pretense at stupidity or unawareness

    OKEE DOKE, a con game

    OIL, pay-off money to the police

    OUTFIT, hypodermic kit used by addicts

    PACIFIER BULB, the rubber top of a baby’s pacifier used by addicts to draw up drugs through the eye dropper

    PIECE, measurement of narcotics; usually an ounce

    PIECE OF STUFF, one ounce of narcotics

    PINNING, looking

    POKE, wallet or bankroll

    REEFER, marijuana

    ROLLER, policeman, usually plain clothes

    ROUST, stopped, harassed by police

    SHAKE, extort

    SHEET, police record

    SHIELD, badge

    SHIV, knife, usually made by convicts from various objects

    SHORT, car

    SIZZLE, narcotics carried on the person

    SLAT, one usually refers to money or length of prison term

    SLUM HUSTLER, a phony jewelry salesman

    SMACK, heroin

    SNATCH, female sexual organ

    SNORT, sniff or inhale

    SPADE, Negro

    SPEED BALLS, a combination of heroin and cocaine injected

    SPIC, Mexican

    SPIELING, talking, a term used by older hustlers and pimps

    SQUARE UP, get out of the life

    STABLE, a group of whores belonging to one pimp

    STALL, an accomplice of a cannon

    STAND UP, to endure or survive

    STASH, hiding place

    STING, rob

    STRIDES, trousers

    STUFF ON, to play on or con

    THREADS, clothes

    THREE WAY, orally, rectally, vaginally

    TO PULL COAT, to inform and teach

    TURNED OUT, introduced to the fast life or drugs

    UPTIGHT, in trouble, financial or otherwise

    VIC, mark, victim

    VINE, suit

    WHALE, throw, usually applied to throwing dice

    WIRE, information, message, etc.

    YEASTING, to build up or exaggerate

    YELLOW, a yellow capsule containing barbiturate powder

    PRAT, to pretend rejection to increase desire

    PEEL OFF, removal of only a portion of money from a wallet or roll

  • Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    See All Customer Reviews

    Pimp: The Story of My Life 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    First of all id like to say that I don't read much, but once I started this book I couldn't put it down. This book pulled my coat on the ins and outs of the grimy underworld of pimping. Once I was done I felt like it almost educated me. If you look deep enough you will see that he gives us insightful information on how to maintain relationships. This book is a must read for fans of black hardships.
    LamarAdams More than 1 year ago
    The writing style, particularly the slang, was hard to digest at first. It took some getting used to and at times clarity suffered. The storyline was graphic and well executed. The descriptions of his thoughts and personal relationships greatly helped with understanding his world. I would give this book 5/5 if the slang wasn't so thick and outdated.
    Darrol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Something of an old fashioned morality story for all of its brutality. I am curious about the Holy Rollers that Iceberg's mother hooks up with. Are they the Pentecostals of Indianapolis (aka Gliggy Bluks)?
    Bfasching on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    I wrestle with some of the ugliness from this book every day. It will scar you.
    gazzy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Autobiography of young man succumbing to life of crime. Honest portrayal of his rise to minor criminal. However, almost no thought goes into remorse over his actions.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I first heard about this book after watching a dave chappelle stand up on netflix and i mist say, i am not dissapointed. I havent read through a book recreationally in ages but I loved this book immensely!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Kept me interested
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Enlightened by its brutal honesty of the world we see every day yet fail to comprehend in the slightest.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I've been hearing about this book for my entire life. Most people I know who have read this book have always painted it as a "life changing experience" once you have closed the last page. I think if I had read this book back when I was in my twenties, I may have felt the same. However, at the age I'm at, and with my understanding of the type of psychological tactics that are played from the streets to the high-rise, I'm less impressed with the occupational skills of the author and more in awe of the vivid descriptions of the era that created him. Let me make this clear: there is nothing really deep about being a pimp. The only requirements are to find yourself a highly damaged young woman (the younger the better) who has experienced sexual, emotional and physical abuse, and then trap her in a love-hate relationship where she will spend most of her time trying to get you to stop hating her. Even Iceberg Slim himself says that a productive sex worker is a masochist with self-image issues. I've been around enough people like this (too close really) to see how that game works. Sure there are a few other things you can toss in the mix to amp up the dysfunction, but for the most part, mix one part troubled female with one part slightly sociopath controller and you too could have made a few bucks. Nevertheless, there is nothing like having it spelled out to you and the language in Pimp alone will keep you glued to the pages. However, you have to be prepared - this book is slang HEAVY! In fact, there is so much slang that there is a glossary attached to the book to help you get through it without losing your mind. Honestly, that may not be enough for some, but, for the most part, you will be able to use context clues to figure out what is happening. On top of that, the stories are excellent. Scoop it up and read it.
    MattShizzle More than 1 year ago
    He was the original. Between him and Donald Goines started the "urban fiction" genre.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago