“Thrift Shop” is a runaway hit that has catapulted Macklemore into a global celebrity.
This Blog will ELUCIDATE (clarity) some of the song’s hidden meanings while also helping
you learn some vocabs!
1. ERRONEOUS – incorrect; mistaken
Macklemore opens “Thrift Shop” by announcing that he is headed for his
local thrift shop where he intends to “pop some tags.” Many listeners
ERRONEOUSLY assume that “poppin’ tags” means that Macklemore
plans to cheat the store by swapping price tags with cheaper items. This is
of course completely ERRONEOUS. Macklemore is a cool dude who
would never cheat a thrift shop. He loves shopping for bargains and
estimates that over the years he has purchased around 3,000 items.
2. FRUGAL – economical; thrifty; careful with money
Macklemore also tells us that he’s “only got twenty dollars in my pocket.”
Don’t worry – thrift shop prices are very low. The shop is a perfect place
for FRUGAL shoppers like Macklemore. His twenty dollars will buy a lot
of incredible bargains.
3. ALLUSION – a reference to a person, place, or thing, historical or literary,
that adds to the listener’s understanding of the subject
Macklemore’s songs are filled with great pop culture ALLUSIONS. For
example, in “Thrift Shop” Macklemore proudly boasts that “John Wayne
ain’t got nothing on my fringe game.” John Wayne was a famous actor
known for playing rugged cowboys who wore jackets with leather
4. STIGMATIZE – to brand or mark as inferior
Macklemore also boasts that he can “take some Pro Wings, make them
cool.” Pro Wings are an inexpensive brand of sneakers sold at Payless
stores. SUPERCILIOUS (snobbish) middle school kids often relentlessly
teased classmates forced to wear these shoes. But Macklemore is so
cool, he can take a SIGMATIZED brand of shoes and make them
desirable to even the most arrogant sneaker head.
5. EXORBITANT – unreasonably expensive; inordinately priced; literally
out of orbit
Macklemore and his friends enjoy looking for thrift shop bargains. He
DISDAINS (scorns) overpaying for clothes. For example, Macklemore
ridicules fashionistas who pay “fifty dollars for a t-shirt, limited edition.”
He believes that fifty dollars is an EXORBITANT price to pay for a label.
6. AFFECTATION – behavior that is deliberately pretentious and unnatural
Macklemore mocks the deliberate AFFECTATION displayed by rappers
who prize extravagant clothes and OSTENTATIOUS (showy) jewelry.
Rather than buy EXORBITANTLY priced designer labels, Macklemore
and his friends find rad outfits and save absurd amounts of money.
7. PARODY – a funny imitation; a satire
“Thift Shop’s” booming sales and soaring popularity have attracted a large number
of witty PARODIES that can be seen on YouTube. My favorite “Thrift
Shop” PARODY is entitled “Toy Shop” by thecomputernerd01. Check
out this clever PARODY. You won’t be disappointed!