I heard the fear in the first music I ever knew, the music that pumped from boom boxes full of grand boast and bluster. The boys who stood out on Garrison and Liberty up on Park Heights loved this music because it told them, against all evidence and odds, that they were masters of their own lives, their own streets, and their own bodies. I saw it in the girls, in their loud laughter, in their gilded bamboo earrings that announced their names thrice over.

-Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

How the earrings can announce someone's name? Is there such an expression?

  • 1
  • @TRomano... Seriously? Never seen one before! Thank you.
    – whitecap
    Feb 23, 2016 at 21:32
  • @TRomano - I wonder why thrice over, then. After all, most earrings are worn in pairs.
    – J.R.
    Feb 23, 2016 at 21:34
  • @J.R. thrice over- maybe used in a hyperbolic sense?
    – whitecap
    Feb 23, 2016 at 21:47
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    Thrice is odd in the context of ears, true. Presumably the name is being "shouted" by these very big earrings.
    – TimR
    Feb 23, 2016 at 22:23

1 Answer 1


In this book (Between the World and Me) it means exactly what it says: the earrings bear the wearer's name three times (or "thrice").

  • Right. So their names were inscribed in the earrings.
    – Lambie
    Apr 24, 2016 at 19:09

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