Submitted by goossun  •  February 16, 2004

Weird name

Does anybody possibly know what Gimp means? I’m talking about the creature in Pulp Fiction at the Mason-Dixie Pawshop, The wo/man dressed in black leather bondage gear. S/he’s called Gimp. Remember? Is it a nick name or what?

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I think that speedwell's and soiducked's responses pretty much cover it. The wearer of the gimp mask is in the submissive role, usually restrained somehow, I suppose metaphorically as if lame or crippled. It is a derogatory and offensive term, which would also explain its use to humiliate the submissive partner. At least, that was my take on it when I saw the movie.

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Gimp is also a long plastic lace or thread, flat elliptical in cross section, that comes in many colors that can be used to weave or braid in hand crafts (related to guimpe but completely different.)

To make a lanyard.

http://www.gimplink.com

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Gimp is also a long plastic lace or thread, flat elliptical in cross section, that comes in many colors that can be used to weave or braid in hand crafts (related to guimpe but completely different.)

To make a lanyard.

http://www.cam.com/gimp/

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i know that in bondage, the mask that covers the whole face is called a "gimp mask" but i don't know what the word gimp originally derives from.

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Dear Adam
The kind of D you are talking about I guess have nothing to do with the sound of TH in English. Because I do believe the TH stuff comes from Indo-European roots. i.e. Mithra in Indian. It sounds like Arabic TH. i.e. tholth= 1 third.
The so-called "soft D" in the Norse languages sound more like L while tongue touches the lower front teeth. i.e. gade= street in Danish. I say that from my experience, that lots of foreigners pronounce the soft D as an L when speaking Danish. Danish doesn't have a letter for it whereas Icelandic does.

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Remembered this question last night as I was reading the sci-fi classic "The Demolished Man." The author uses the word "gimpster" occasionally, and it doesn't seem to fit either of the above meanings, so I got interested and did a little research.

Apparently the word can also mean "spirit" (as in liveliness), a jagged or notched edge, or (as the acronym GIMP) a free alternative to PhotoShop, the GNU Image Manipulation Program.

My feeling is that the meaning related to the jagged edge is the one meant, but that's stretching. See what you think.

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I know of two definitions for the word. Maybe one will ring a bell.

The first is used to refer to someone unable to walk because they are crippled or injured. The "gimp" can refer to the lameness or to the lame person himself. It is usually held to be vulgar and offensive.

The second meaning comes from a French word and is more correctly spelled "guimpe." It means a raised ornamental braid trim used in dressmaking.

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