While it may be OK to pimp your ride, it's certainly not OK to pimp the daughter of a presidential candidate.
"Suggesting that someone is pimping out their own daughter is the lowest of the low," said Michael Silverstein, a professor of anthropology, linguistics and psychology at the University of Chicago.
MSNBC anchor David Shuster learned this the hard way last week, when he was suspended after he made an on-air remark suggesting that the Clinton campaign had "pimped out" Chelsea Clinton by having her call super delegates to promote her mother's candidacy.
Shuster, who apologized twice on the air for his pimp remarks, was lambasted both by the press and Hillary Clinton herself, who leapt to the defense of her daughter.
"I am a mom first and a candidate second. I found the remarks incredibly offensive," said Clinton in a statement provided to ABC News. "I can take whatever comes my way, that's part of what I signed up for as a candidate, as an office holder, but I think that there's been a troubling pattern of comments and behavior that has to be held accountable."
"Pimp-gate," as Shuster's comment and Clinton's response has now been dubbed by the national media, hasn't deterred Chelsea from helping out on her mother's campaign. Monday, the former first daughter ate breakfast with 21-year-old Wisconsinite Jason Rae, who is one of the 796 super delegates whose Democratic endorsement is still up for grabs.
But during a campaign in which Clinton has been chided by some critics for being overly sensitive or too emotional, several linguistic experts told ABCNEWS.com that her strong reaction to Shuster's remarks was merited, and that the use of the word "pimp" is exactly what Clinton said it was: offensive.
"To say that someone is pimping is really an extraordinarily negative description," said University of Chicago's Silverstein. "It takes a lot of work to use it so ironically that it becomes positive."
While the word "pimp" was formerly known primarily as a noun that meant a male procurer of prostitutes or street walkers, according to Silverstein, its meaning has since changed and is now defined primarily as a verb to describe actions that are "obviously being compared to those of the male pimp."
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the most common definition of pimp is "to act or work in a manner suggestive of a pimp to promote the interests of a corrupt or immoral person, esp. for material gain or advancement."
Other meanings of the word, including someone who poses or flaunts themselves for a particular cause, are the less negative interpretations of the word, but according to OED's editor at large Jesse Sheidlower, these meanings often fall on deaf ears.
"This is not a word where its original sexual meaning has largely been forgotten," said Sheidlower. "Pimp still has that main meaning, and there is no question what it's supposed to imply."
"And the concept of pimping out one's daughter -- or any person period -- is going to have that [sexualized] connotation," said Sheidlower.