The act of inserting the name of any obscure cultural institution into a conversation in an effort to accelerate the building of rapport with someone, or to make one's self appear to be more important. Typically considered by intelligent people to be a negative habit.
Here is an example of name dropping in context.
"I totally saw this guy I used to work with at the Bright Eyes show last tuesday!"
With the intended response being:
"woah, you listen to Bright Eyes!?"
One more example
"I was getting off the train and my Don Delillo book fell right out of my bag and onto the tracks!!!"
Referring to someone who is popular or famous in order to let the other person know that you yourself are popular and actually have friends. The event being described is usually a lie, or the story was exaggerated. Most of the time name dropping is used by people who think they are cool, but are not.
Can become very hazardous to one's mental and sometimes physical health.
Julio: "I was just chilling with my boy Will Smith, and we hella partied and shit."
Matt: "Did you really dude? That makes you hella cool."
Louis: "Shaaam, i think you're just name dropping."
mentioning someone (usually 'famous') in a conversation to imply that you are best friends with said person in lame hope of appearing cool by association
Cubix the cunt: I couldn't possibly answer that, i would get a grilling from Ronnie or Arthur (as he browses these forums) or a Avi, ha ha. I lie i love to bum lee blackwell on weekends.
Name dropping is used to inflate one's stature in a conversation by linking oneself to a famous person or situation. This is sometimes done while talking about something completely different. The names are just "dropped" in there. Some attempts are more subtle than others but it is basically annoying.
I see those hats everywhere now. When I was at the inauguration for Obama they were all over the place. But when I met Rupaul at that charity party last month he said they are on their way out. And good riddance too!
Did you catch the name dropping in that conversation about hats? So subtle...