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  #1  
Old 14 December 2009, 01:24 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Default The Mysterious Origins of "Oh Snap!"

Quote:
...This article concerns “Oh snap!” — that handy phrase which accompanies a moment of consternation or a dutiful dissing. The phrase has seen more frequent use in mainstream media, and, in 2009, it is just about at the point where “My bad” was in 2004. Here again, we have two words that linger in popular culture well past their shelf life, a term that once populated the lingua franca of a minority subculture and that is now loosened from the lips of Caucasians who think they are in the know. ...
http://www.edrants.com/the-mysteriou...ns-of-oh-snap/

Nick

ETA. Yes, it's old news, but new to me, as I had been mystified by the ubiquitous appearance of this phrase.
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  #2  
Old 14 December 2009, 01:40 PM
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I have to admit that I first heard this "English" phrase supposedly from the coalmining villages of Southeast England (all three barely productive mines that were still in operation 40 years ago , all long closed down, all within less than an hours drive from here) about - er five minutes ago when I read the OP and the article. I've never heard anyone say it.
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  #3  
Old 14 December 2009, 01:40 PM
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It's not got a widespread British origin because I've never heard anybody here say it, and don't really know what it's supposed to mean.

The first of their British usages at the bottom might be a regional usage (South East English mining, though? I had no idea that there were mines in SE England, and I grew up there and still live there. Not a big industry any more) - but since it turns out I'm from the supposed region in question, I doubt that too.

But the second example is just referring to the card game Snap - both people are drinking the same drink, so the second says "Snap". The "Oh" (and the lack of comma) is incidental.
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  #4  
Old 14 December 2009, 01:47 PM
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Coal mining in Kent. The last mine shut in 1989.

http://home.freeuk.net/eastkent/mining/index.htm
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  #5  
Old 14 December 2009, 01:49 PM
Jay Tea Jay Tea is offline
 
 
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I've never heard it uttered, in the UK or anywhere else for that matter, but it's hard to avoid on the internet (particularly that Peter Stormare gif), just like any other internet 'meme'.

Did someone get told?

Oh snap!
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  #6  
Old 14 December 2009, 01:50 PM
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The proper usage of "oh snap" is simple:

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  #7  
Old 14 December 2009, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starla View Post
The proper usage of "oh snap" is simple:
Stolen and posted on FaceBook. Oh SNAP!!

- P

Actually, I just imbedded the link to a post on a friend's wall.
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  #8  
Old 15 December 2009, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
it is just about at the point where “My bad” was in 2004
People were still saying "my bad" in 2004. Geez.....here I thought it disappeared in 1994.



Starla: I'm totally stealing that pic. Oh snap.
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  #9  
Old 23 December 2009, 04:08 PM
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I was wondering where the term came from also. I have come across it being used frequently in old reruns of the Dave Chappelle Show by some of the characters he plays in skits and also uttered by Joy (the lovely ex-wife of Earl) in the show " My Name is Earl".
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  #10  
Old 24 December 2009, 06:22 AM
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Strangely enough I think I've mostly seen it here on snopes, but I think in reference to the television program Dr. House. I've definitely wondered about the phrase when I've seen it, and I've never heard it.
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  #11  
Old 24 December 2009, 07:36 AM
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llewtrah llewtrah is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
I have to admit that I first heard this "English" phrase supposedly from the coalmining villages of Southeast England (all three barely productive mines that were still in operation 40 years ago , all long closed down, all within less than an hours drive from here) about - er five minutes ago when I read the OP and the article. I've never heard anyone say it.
I've never heard it used over here. In fact I've only ever heard it used on imported US TV shows (the sort aimed at teens). The only usage of the exclamation "snap!" I've heard in England is when playing a child's card-matching game. I sometimes wonder if there are attempts to give neologisms supposedly venerable origins to make them seem less like neologisms.

("My bad" I only ever heard on US young adult oriented TV shows and from people that picked the phrase up from such shows)
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  #12  
Old 24 December 2009, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunfroggy View Post
I was wondering where the term came from also. I have come across it being used frequently in old reruns of the Dave Chappelle Show by some of the characters he plays in skits and also uttered by Joy (the lovely ex-wife of Earl) in the show " My Name is Earl".
When she fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution, Joy learned to say "oh snap!" in Spanish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
I've never heard it used over here. In fact I've only ever heard it used on imported US TV shows (the sort aimed at teens).
FTR, the shows cajunfroggy mentions above were not aimed at teens. Some teens would enjoy the language used by Mr. Chappelle, but I doubt they'd really "get" the humor (they might think they did).

However, Joy from My Name is Earl was portrayed as a rather immature character.
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  #13  
Old 24 December 2009, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
FTR, the shows cajunfroggy mentions above were not aimed at teens. Some teens would enjoy the language used by Mr. Chappelle, but I doubt they'd really "get" the humor (they might think they did).

However, Joy from My Name is Earl was portrayed as a rather immature character.
I've never even heard of Chappelle, so no idea what that show is or who it would be aimed at (never seen the name on any listings for the cable/satellite channels I get). I've seen My Name is Earl, but again, that wasn't the sort of show I was thinking of. I was thinking of the (for me) indistinguishable teen/early-twenties oriented shows about family life/high school life/boyfriend-girlfriend stuff (which I surf through when looking for something worth watching) where "oh snap" or "oh shoot" get used as a milder version of "oh sh1t".
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  #14  
Old 24 December 2009, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
I was thinking of the (for me) indistinguishable teen/early-twenties oriented shows about family life/high school life/boyfriend-girlfriend stuff (which I surf through when looking for something worth watching) where "oh snap" or "oh shoot" get used as a milder version of "oh sh1t".
Oh, those, yes. They're indistinguishable to me, too.
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  #15  
Old 24 December 2009, 09:00 PM
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There's currently a Radio Shack commercial running with Biz Markie doing an altered version of his "Just a Friend (Oh Snap)" song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufhp2N_2Zc8

It's stuck with me for days.
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  #16  
Old 24 December 2009, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post

But the second example is just referring to the card game Snap - both people are drinking the same drink, so the second says "Snap". The "Oh" (and the lack of comma) is incidental.
I'm pretty sure the first example is a 'snap game' reference too, you can't see much in the google books snippet linked, but it reads like people had wanted to book the same day off and the speaker gives way '....day's special leave. Oh snap; alright you'd better get yours if you want.'
The author of the article has clearly googled for the phrase and assumed the same meaning, where in (older) british contexts it just means two things match.
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  #17  
Old 25 December 2009, 01:25 AM
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Cervus Cervus is offline
 
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I first associated "Oh, snap!" with In Living Color in the early 90's. "Snaps" are/were verbal put-downs prevalent in black American culture, like "Yo Momma..." After making the put-down, you'd snap your fingers three times while waving your hand in a Z-shape to emphasize your attitude.

I like the physical snapping of the fingers after someone gets told off, rather than actually saying "Oh snap!" To me that's always seemed lame.
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