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Chumpie, A Multipurpose Philadelphia Word

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Alvin in Huntsville, Alabama, is a fan of the multipurpose noun chumpie, which he learned from a native Philadelphian. He remembers hearing it on the television show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, when actor Will Smith, who is originally from Philadelphia himself, would say things like Yo! That chumpie is fly! Like the word jawn, which is also closely associated with Philadelphia, chumpie functions largely as a placeholder word that can be applied to lots of different things. The use of this slang term goes back at least to the 1980s and perhaps farther than that. In the early 1990s, a Black-owned Philadelphia company began producing Chumpies potato chips. This is part of a complete episode.

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