the D

[th uh dee]

What does the D mean?

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Do you want the D? No, we don't mean Dictionary.com, alas. The D is an affectionate nickname for the city of Detroit, Michigan. The D is also a slang euphemism for dick, or "penis" or "sex" more generally. But don't worry, Detroit: Many people want the D!

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Examples of the D

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Examples of the D
If she wears crocs to a party, don't give her the D.
@SheGonnaGetTheD, January 2013
Rich Rice is back to tell us everything happening around the D!...First, bring out your ugly Christmas sweater and head to Beacon Park Saturday, December 9th to set a new world record.
ClickOnDetroit, December 2017

Where does the D come from?

SSSniperWolf / YouTube

The city of Detroit has been proudly represented by the D since at least the early 1900s, when the city’s baseball team, the Detroit Tiger, emblazoned D, in a blackletter typeface, on their uniforms. The D became a rallying symbol for the city in following crippling race riots in the city the previous year. Detroit residents have gone on to hail their city as The (Big) D.

To others, the Big D may bring something very different to mind. In black slang, D has been a euphemistic slang shortening for dick, as in the penis, since at least 1994. (For this initialism, consider fuck being shortened to the F-word or calling someone a B, or bitch).

D typically appears as the D, frequently touted by men—and yes, also as longed for by their partners, especially women—as an object of desire and agent of satisfaction, as in She wants the D or I want the D. We can find this rapper Twista’s 2004 song “So Sexy”:

“Ohh! And this is for them girls that be wantin’ – the D / And this is for them girls that be lovin’ – the D / And this is for them girls that be ridin – the D / The ones that like to keep the D up inside ’em now”

As Twista makes plain, the D can stand for “penis” itself, but more generally, it conveys wanting to have sex with the man.

The D was further popularized in 2012 with a Tumblr post featuring a comment from the pornography website Pornhub, give her the dick, from a user whose profile picture was philosopher René Descartes. Variations on the phrase, mainly she wants the D (shortened either due to slang or euphemism), went viral, with people creating everything from YouTube videos to visual puns on letter D (e.g., the allergy medicine Claritin-D). These were all crass, absurdist ways of men joking about women they felt, well, wanted the D.

Who uses the D?

The D is a familiar nickname for Detroit, appearing on everything from Detroit-proud clothing to local establishment names to website articles about goings-on in Motor City. In 2012, a casino in Las Vegas opened as The D promising “Detroit feel, Las Vegas appeal.”

The D, as slang for dick or sex more generally, is found heavily in black slang and hip-hop lyrics, whose influence on popular culture have helped the D spread into more mainstream use. It’s also a handy way around any censors against profane language, such as dick.

Very frequently, the D is a male boast about women desiring their member. And guess what? Women have sexual desire, too. Women (or men!) may genuinely reference the D in describing their passion for their partner–or, when they’re needing to get laid, as needing some D.

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