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It’s April 15th and a lot of folks are sweating it out with their accountant or at the post office filling out those last minute tax forms for Uncle Sam. But who remembers the days when the word “tax” was weaved into the everyday vernacular?

It was fairly common in my NYC environs to take a phrase that is rarely heard, flip it, and now it’s a daily word. Today we pay homage to the “Tax.”

Main Entry: 1tax

Pronunciation: ˈtaks

Function: transitive verb

Etymology:The Hood, USA, to take, steel, acquire with force, from Anglo-French taxer, from Medieval Latin taxare, from Latin, to feel, estimate, censure, frequentative of tangere to touch

Date: 20th century

1 : to relieve someone of their belongings

The slang usage wasn’t really that far off from the actual meaning. No one likes the feeling of the government digging in their pockets so applying it to the everyday robbery on the street wasn’t really a stretch.

Usage: “Yo, kid just got taxed for his Jordans, son!”

If you didn’t grow up in NYC or are just unfamiliar here are some songs that apply the slang version of “Tax.”

Special Ed: “Taxing”

Nice & Smooth “Funky For You”

“Stick up kids is out to tax…”

Gang Starr “Just To Get A Rep” (samples the aforementioned “Funky For You”)

EPMD “ Big Payback”

A young kid from the ghetto, a kiddie from the city

I don’t feel sorrow, and I have no pity

to run up on you, and wax plus tax

Your gold, your money, and from your eyes your contacts

Mos Def “Brooklyn”

Brooklyn keep on takin it, worldwide we known for that/ Flossy cats get it snatched like the local tax

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