What does plug mean?


A plug (or the plug) is a person who has the ability to get or supply hard-to-find items, especially drugs.

Examples of plug


Examples of plug
Skepta's Clothing Brand Mains is Finally Available...Who's Got the Plug?
The Drop Date (headline), June 2017
My weed man work a 9-5 somebody please introduce me to the real plug 🤦🏾‍♂️
@downing_Keven, December 2018

Where does plug come from?

Netflix / The New Republic

The word plug made its way into the English language, likely from Dutch, as far back as the 1620s. It was a word used by sailors, as plugs can be quite useful on a boat in leaky situations.

In the 1880s, plug gained its electrical sense, referring to an outlet and electrical connection instead of just a stopper. In the 1930s, we see connection emerge as slang for an illegal drug supplier, the person connecting the drugs themselves to the sellers and users. This notion of “connection” appears to influence the slang sense of plug for a drug seller in the early 2000s.

Getty Images

In 2014, 50 Cent’s G Unit released “The Plug,” which boasts about being a drug hookup, or the plug.

“If y’all niggas need straps, then get at me
I’m the plug
Well, if you need that, then get at me
I’m the plug
Dope, coke, crack, man get at me
I’m the plug”

While the slang plug initially and especially refers to linking people together for drug-related transactions, plug spread by the 2010s for a source of any rare or desirable item.

Who uses plug?

Outside of everyday uses of plugs such as electrical plugs and plugging holes, plug is youth slang for a supplier of sought-after products, ranging from designer shoes and event tickets…

…to drugs, whether scored from small-time dealers or big-time suppliers.

Of course, on a less druggy note, we’d be remiss not to point out that plug is also a popular informal term meaning “to publicize something or someone insistently.”

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