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suranyi
08-26-2011, 02:37 PM
Every once in a while someone will respond to a post with the phrase, "Oh snap!". For example, the second message in this thread:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=14185272

What does it mean, and what was its origin?

Candyman74
08-26-2011, 02:46 PM
I'm with you. No clue at all. I'm guessing it's like "pwned" or something; I've never heard anyone say it.

Bosstone
08-26-2011, 02:46 PM
"You did NOT just say that!" Usually carries an amused rather than confrontational connotation.

Appears to have originated with Tracy Morgan on SNL.

KneadToKnow
08-26-2011, 02:46 PM
An article with some possibilities as to the origin: http://www.edrants.com/the-mysterious-origins-of-oh-snap/

Bosstone
08-26-2011, 02:47 PM
An article with some possibilities as to the origin: http://www.edrants.com/the-mysterious-origins-of-oh-snap/My bad: it didn't originate with Morgan but it was popularized by him.

ecoaster
08-26-2011, 02:51 PM
Usually used after a "diss", e.g., "Oh snap, he said you a trifilin' fool"

It's just a simple exclamation that can be used for a variety of purpose ( "Oh snap, I realize I forgot my keys").

rogerbox
08-26-2011, 03:00 PM
Suranyi and Candyman74, just curious but if you are Americans, how old are you?

Peremensoe
08-26-2011, 03:05 PM
There's the idea of snap as in "snappy comeback," indicating wit, style, concision. Some occurrences of "oh snap" are clearly working this connotation, but I think it has been unfortunately diluted or conflated with use as a simple exclamation, where it means no more than "oh wow" or "oh shit."

Candyman74
08-26-2011, 03:06 PM
Suranyi and Candyman74, just curious but if you are Americans

I'm not.

Jas09
08-26-2011, 03:08 PM
Its usage is diagrammed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vjornaxx/294168009/

It's supposed to be a response to a witty or clever insult, IME.

rogerbox
08-26-2011, 03:10 PM
BTW No intention to be snarky. It just always makes me curious what kind of background someone could have to not have heard of/have understanding of, words and phrases that I take for granted everyone will know.

When I was a cashier years ago, I was mystified when a customer asked me some questions about a product, and after answering them I asked her "Would you like to pick it up?" she looked at me with the world's blankest expression and repeated "pick that up?" I couldn't be sure if she seriously did now know what the phrase meant or if she was just trying to be incredibly obnoxious so I said "would you like to...purchase the item?" in a cornball voice.

KneadToKnow
08-26-2011, 03:12 PM
It just always makes me curious what kind of background someone could have to not have heard of/have understanding of, words and phrases that I take for granted everyone will know.

The answer is simple and universal: one that is different from yours. :)

rogerbox
08-26-2011, 03:13 PM
...I know, that was the point of asking, people different from me are interesting, people the exact same as me, not so much. :)

Peremensoe
08-26-2011, 03:17 PM
When I was a cashier years ago, I was mystified when a customer asked me some questions about a product, and after answering them I asked her "Would you like to pick it up?" she looked at me with the world's blankest expression and repeated "pick that up?" I couldn't be sure if she seriously did now know what the phrase meant or if she was just trying to be incredibly obnoxious so I said "would you like to...purchase the item?" in a cornball voice.

For many people "picking up" a purchased item means getting it at a later time, or going somewhere else to get it. Think of "picking up a pizza" (after a phone order), or warehouse-type stores where you pay one place and then pick up elsewhere. So I can imagine your customer was just confused about how your store worked, thinking "but I'm here now..."

rogerbox
08-26-2011, 03:20 PM
It was a grocery store though, so i can't imagine what the ambiguity was, since she had brought the item to the checkout stand and was asking me questions to try to help her decide whether to buy it. I do believe the woman was just trying to make fun of the way I talk.

The Great Sun Jester
08-26-2011, 03:22 PM
...purchase the item?" in a cornball voice.Ok, I totally heard Hannibal Lechter faking a West Virgina drawl there.

KneadToKnow
08-26-2011, 03:29 PM
It was a grocery store though, so i can't imagine what the ambiguity was, since she had brought the item to the checkout stand and was asking me questions to try to help her decide whether to buy it. I do believe the woman was just trying to make fun of the way I talk.

To "pick it up" in any context in which an item is sitting right in front of me would, for me, mean only one thing: reaching over and lifting it up in the air. I have never heard that phrase used to mean merely "pay for it."

astorian
08-26-2011, 03:33 PM
It's a latter-day equivalent or "darn" or "fudge" or "shoot." That is, it's a clean expletive that people sometimes use instead of saying one of George Carlin's "7 words you can't say on TV."

Onomatopoeia
08-26-2011, 03:34 PM
"You did NOT just say that!" Usually carries an amused rather than confrontational connotation.This is correct.

Appears to have originated with Tracy Morgan on SNL.

My bad: it didn't originate with Morgan but it was popularized by him.Not only did it not originate with him, it wasn't popularized by him either. All the kids I knew in my brief 2-year stint in New York used to say this, and that was 40 years ago.

Usually used after a "diss", e.g., "Oh snap, he said you a trifilin' fool"

It's just a simple exclamation that can be used for a variety of purpose ( "Oh snap, I realize I forgot my keys").We would never have used it this way, but I guess, like most slang, its use may have evolved somewhat.

Its usage is diagrammed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vjornaxx/294168009/

It's supposed to be a response to a witty or clever insult, IME.Actually, it is an approving, somewhat incredulous response to a witty, clever, and unexpected insult.

Onomatopoeia
08-26-2011, 03:35 PM
It's a latter-day equivalent or "darn" or "fudge" or "shoot." That is, it's a clean expletive that people sometimes use instead of saying one of George Carlin's "7 words you can't say on TV."I have never heard it used this way.

elfkin477
08-26-2011, 03:46 PM
When I was a cashier years ago, I was mystified when a customer asked me some questions about a product, and after answering them I asked her "Would you like to pick it up?" she looked at me with the world's blankest expression and repeated "pick that up?" I couldn't be sure if she seriously did now know what the phrase meant or if she was just trying to be incredibly obnoxious so I said "would you like to...purchase the item?" in a cornball voice.I would have given you a blank look too. I've never heard that phrase mean to buy something rather than to go somewhere else to retrieve it. So people where you live would have generally understood your question?


As for the OP "Oh snap" means different things. If it's in response to someone else's statement, it means "you wound me with your wit" but it's generally disingenuous. If someone says it out of the blue, it means the same thing as "oh shit!/fuck!" and is generally an indicator that the speaker has just been reminded of something they should have recalled and acted upon earlier.

cjepson
08-26-2011, 03:50 PM
It was a grocery store though, so i can't imagine what the ambiguity was, since she had brought the item to the checkout stand and was asking me questions to try to help her decide whether to buy it. I do believe the woman was just trying to make fun of the way I talk.

I would have been puzzled too. To me, to "pick up" a piece of merchandise refers to the entire process of leaving wherever I am, going to a store, grabbing the merchandise, taking it to the cashier and paying for it. (As in, I'm going to go pick up a quart of milk at the 7-Eleven.") If I've already done steps 1-4, step 5 is not "picking it up".

Bosstone
08-26-2011, 03:51 PM
If it's in response to someone else's statement, it means "you wound me with your wit" but it's generally disingenuous.Not in my experience. It's an acknowledgment that a burn has been delivered, that the person the speaker was addressing did, indeed, get told.

Folly
08-26-2011, 03:58 PM
So much for my assumption that it just took the place of an actual finger snap...

Roderick Femm
08-26-2011, 04:24 PM
This is correct.Not only did it not originate with him, it wasn't popularized by him either. All the kids I knew in my brief 2-year stint in New York used to say this, and that was 40 years ago.

We would never have used it this way, but I guess, like most slang, its use may have evolved somewhat.

Actually, it is an approving, somewhat incredulous response to a witty, clever, and unexpected insult.Were those kids gay? That's where I thought it first became popular (accompanied by a snap of the fingers). Or maybe I'm confusing it with the zigzag three snaps thing.

And isn't this comment usually by a third party?

A: Says something maybe a little dumb
B: Makes zinger as a comeback
C (third person in the group): Oh snap!


Roddy

astorian
08-26-2011, 04:31 PM
I have never heard it used this way.

Try watching Disney's "Chicken Little"!

Elendil's Heir
08-26-2011, 04:32 PM
I'd never heard "Oh, snap" until the white-trashy Joy Hickey uttered it (often) in My Name is Earl, which premiered in 2005. She used it as a substitute for "Oh, shit," i.e. an expression of mild disgust or surprise.

rogerbox
08-26-2011, 04:34 PM
I would have been puzzled too. To me, to "pick up" a piece of merchandise refers to the entire process of leaving wherever I am, going to a store, grabbing the merchandise, taking it to the cashier and paying for it. (As in, I'm going to go pick up a quart of milk at the 7-Eleven.") If I've already done steps 1-4, step 5 is not "picking it up".

I will ask a co-worker next to me right now, and we're not in a retail environment:

"What would you think it meant if I was a cashier at the grocery checkout counter said "So, do you want to pick it up?" if you were asking me questions about an item?"

Answer: "Do I want to purchase it?"

Possibly the phrasing is more common in WA state and less common in others than I realized, but I am having a hard time understanding the ambiguity when I am already scanning your stuff and you're asking me a last minute question when you already are leaning towards the purchase, what it could possibly mean? It's not a loading depot, it's a grocery checkout line.

suranyi
08-26-2011, 04:49 PM
Suranyi and Candyman74, just curious but if you are Americans, how old are you?

I am American, and 49 years old. I haven't watched SNL in many years, if that's one possible source.

Claire Beauchamp
08-26-2011, 04:56 PM
I don't claim to be a particularly hep cat or anything, but I'm 49, haven't watched SNL since the Eddie Murphy days, and I knew what it meant.

P.S. I would have been puzzled by the "pick it up" question, too. To me that either means going to another location to get the item, or hoisting it up off the counter.

suranyi
08-26-2011, 04:58 PM
BTW No intention to be snarky. It just always makes me curious what kind of background someone could have to not have heard of/have understanding of, words and phrases that I take for granted everyone will know.



From what I see, it seems to have been popularized by (take your pick) SNL, Comedy Central, or hip hop. I don't watch SNL, Comedy Central, or listen to hip hop. Nor do I sociialize with anybody who does, nowadays. So that's why I haven't heard the phrase outside of this message board.

It's really more than that. I don't watch TV at all nowadays because my wife and son monopolize it. My wife watches the Food Network and my son watches NickJr. No other channels, ever. Neither of them have ever used this phrase, that I have noticed. I'm always way behind on pop culture knowledge.

Hermitian
08-26-2011, 05:08 PM
A: Says something maybe a little dumb
B: Makes zinger as a comeback
C (third person in the group): Oh snap!


Roddy

This is my understanding of the phrase.

picunurse
08-26-2011, 05:14 PM
So much for my assumption that it just took the place of an actual finger snap...

This. The first time I heard it, many years ago, it was accompanied by a finger snap in the face.

Acsenray
08-26-2011, 05:16 PM
"Oh snap!" is like "Ooooh, burn!" It's an expression of appreciation for a good comeback or putdown.

It was a grocery store though, so i can't imagine what the ambiguity was, since she had brought the item to the checkout stand and was asking me questions to try to help her decide whether to buy it. I do believe the woman was just trying to make fun of the way I talk.

To "pick it up" in any context in which an item is sitting right in front of me would, for me, mean only one thing: reaching over and lifting it up in the air. I have never heard that phrase used to mean merely "pay for it."

I would have been puzzled too. To me, to "pick up" a piece of merchandise refers to the entire process of leaving wherever I am, going to a store, grabbing the merchandise, taking it to the cashier and paying for it. (As in, I'm going to go pick up a quart of milk at the 7-Eleven.") If I've already done steps 1-4, step 5 is not "picking it up".

I agree with KneadToKnow and Cjepson. I have never heard "Would you like to pick it up?" used to mean "Would you like to purchase this item that's right in front of you?" I'd think you were asking me to grasp it my hand and lift it up from the surface it was resting on.

Onomatopoeia
08-26-2011, 05:22 PM
Were those kids gay? That's where I thought it first became popular (accompanied by a snap of the fingers). Or maybe I'm confusing it with the zigzag three snaps thing. Heh, no, the kids weren't gay (and by gay I mean effeminate).

Yes, you're confusing the three snaps thing. There was no finger snapping involved.

And isn't this comment usually by a third party?

A: Says something maybe a little dumb
B: Makes zinger as a comeback
C (third person in the group): Oh snap!


RoddyYes.

There also used to be a game guys used to play in the neighborhood called snaps, which was hilarious.

SciFiSam
08-26-2011, 05:24 PM
TY, OP - I've wondered now and then too. It's been a little unclear because I've heard it in conflicting contexts. I guess the non-euphemism meaning is something like 'buuurn!'

I will ask a co-worker next to me right now, and we're not in a retail environment:

"What would you think it meant if I was a cashier at the grocery checkout counter said "So, do you want to pick it up?" if you were asking me questions about an item?"

Answer: "Do I want to purchase it?"

Possibly the phrasing is more common in WA state and less common in others than I realized, but I am having a hard time understanding the ambiguity when I am already scanning your stuff and you're asking me a last minute question when you already are leaning towards the purchase, what it could possibly mean? It's not a loading depot, it's a grocery checkout line.

If you'd said 'would you like to ...' and the rest was drowned out by coughing, then I might guess you were asking if wanted to buy it, in context. But you used a phrase that I know as having several different meanings, none of them being the one you meant. Phrasal verbs (verb plus preposition, like turn down, come on, etc) often have multiple confusing meanings.

Alley Dweller
08-26-2011, 06:04 PM
In the context of being at the store with the item right in front of me and being asked if I wanted to pick it up, my first reaction would be "does the cashier want me to lift that object off the counter?"

But how about if we were discussing the stock market and I said "After the news about Steve Jobs was released, you could pick up shares of Apple for a song"? I think most people would assume I meant "buy."

How about "Since I last saw Bob, he had picked up a new habit"? I think most people would assume I meant "acquired."

Colophon
08-26-2011, 06:11 PM
It's a latter-day equivalent or "darn" or "fudge" or "shoot." That is, it's a clean expletive that people sometimes use instead of saying one of George Carlin's "7 words you can't say on TV."
That's how I've read it, on the couple of occasions I've come across it (never heard it spoken) and it seemed to make sense. But from the other responses it seems that's wrong.

I'm British, BTW, and it's not used over here, but just the sound of it makes me think it should be an expletive substitute.

Candyman74
08-26-2011, 06:18 PM
"Oh snap!" is like "Ooooh, burn!" It's an expression of appreciation for a good comeback or putdown.

Can't say as I've heard "Ooooh, burn!" either.

I've always said that - despite on appearance that we share a common language - I have a much harder time communicating in the US than I do in, say, Italy where people speak an actual different language.

There are so many colloquialisms, ways of phrasing things, little different choices of words, plus variants in manner and accent between the US and the UK that often it may as well be a different language. I've lost count of the number of times I've looked blankly at waiter or airport staff member there having not comprehended a word. When you throw in a local term, phrase something in a different order to how you're used to, add an accent, and top it off with American terms for things which are called something different at home.... each individual thing is trivial, but all combined can lead to utter incomprehension!

In, say, Italy, though, when both parties already understand there's a language difference, there's deliberate avoidance of anything but clear simple English - and so communication is, paradoxically, much easier!

Arnold Winkelried
08-26-2011, 06:24 PM
And isn't this comment usually by a third party?

A: Says something maybe a little dumb
B: Makes zinger as a comeback
C (third person in the group): Oh snap!


This is my understanding of the phrase.

Yes.

Count me in as another one that agrees with Roderick Femm. When I hear "Oh snap" it's usually in this context.

Hello Again
08-26-2011, 07:01 PM
There are so many colloquialisms, ways of phrasing things, little different choices of words, plus variants in manner and accent between the US and the UK that often it may as well be a different language.
I take it then, you've never heard the phrase "Two nations, separated by a common language" in reference to US/UK language differences.

:)


I agree that "oh snap" it is synonymous with "burn!" to mean "my good sir, you have just been mocked and I salute he who mocked you for his apt wit."

AClockworkMelon
08-26-2011, 07:09 PM
Actually, it is an approving, somewhat incredulous response to a witty, clever, and unexpected insult.

It's an acknowledgment that a burn has been delivered, that the person the speaker was addressing did, indeed, get told.

I agree that "oh snap" it is synonymous with "burn!" to mean "my good sir, you have just been mocked and I salute he who mocked you for his apt wit."
These three accurately describe my intent when I used the phrase in the thread the OP linked to.

Pai325
08-26-2011, 07:43 PM
When I was a cashier years ago, I was mystified when a customer asked me some questions about a product, and after answering them I asked her "Would you like to pick it up?" she looked at me with the world's blankest expression and repeated "pick that up?" I couldn't be sure if she seriously did now know what the phrase meant or if she was just trying to be incredibly obnoxious so I said "would you like to...purchase the item?" in a cornball voice.

I wouldn't have had a clue what you meant, and if I were with anyone, you would definitely have been the topic of conversation on the way home. I am guessing that it is a regionalism, like soda and pop, or paper bag and paper sack.

rogerbox
08-26-2011, 08:13 PM
I wouldn't have had a clue what you meant, and if I were with anyone, you would definitely have been the topic of conversation on the way home. I am guessing that it is a regionalism, like soda and pop, or paper bag and paper sack.

Huh. I am surprised because, I am a native Chicagoan so I occasionally get comments or confusion if I use phrases or slang from home here in Seattle. However, the SDMB is a Chicago based board, so I assumed if someone here in the northwest did not understand a phrase I used, people here would pipe in that they are familiar with it.

All of my co-workers back at the grocery store, and my co-worker at a different, nonretail job today all knew exactly what I meant.

Let's say you want this ice cream but you are worried it has transfat (or whatever you can't eat) in it. You take the icecream with the rest of your cart, and while I am scanning and ringing your stuff up the following exchange takes place:

You: I can't eat transfats, do you know if this icecream has transfats?
Me: Actually this store is transfat free, you definitely don't have to worry. So did you still want to pick it up?

Even if you are not familiar with that phrase, I'm surprised that in that context an adult could not figure out that "pick it up" means "purchase the ice cream".

Acsenray
08-26-2011, 08:26 PM
You: I can't eat transfats, do you know if this icecream has transfats?
Me: Actually this store is transfat free, you definitely don't have to worry. So did you still want to pick it up?

Even if you are not familiar with that phrase, I'm surprised that in that context an adult could not figure out that "pick it up" means "purchase the ice cream".

This scenario gives me more context to figure out what you mean, so I probably would figure out what you meant. In the first situation, though, I would still be wondering why you were asking me to reach down and lift the stuff.

elfkin477
08-26-2011, 08:29 PM
Even if you are not familiar with that phrase, I'm surprised that in that context an adult could not figure out that "pick it up" means "purchase the ice cream".I'm surprised that the phrase "quarter of [hour]" is ambiguous enough to some people to have been the subject of not one but two threads where several people said they couldn't fathom a guess as to whether it mean [hour]:45 or [hour]:15. Regionalisms are like that: perfectly understandable to the people who use them, and often baffling to those to who don't.

Student Driver
08-26-2011, 08:35 PM
That's how I've read it, on the couple of occasions I've come across it (never heard it spoken) and it seemed to make sense. But from the other responses it seems that's wrong.

I'm British, BTW, and it's not used over here, but just the sound of it makes me think it should be an expletive substitute.

Well, it's not necessarily wrong, and it does also serve as an expletive substitute sometimes. I've occasionally heard "snap" used over the word "shit" in TV versions of theatrical movies-- Above the Rim was the first movie I consciously heard it in, as it was used a *lot* and in really odd sounding cases. Dave Chapelle has also used "oh snap" in some of his show's skits in a manner which is pretty clearly "oh shit" rather than the more usual "oh, burn!," but its use also seems to be poking fun at TV language restrictions. And, then in real world use, I do sometimes hear it where the "burn!" thing is clearly not meant... at the gym a while back, a guy near me said "oh snap" in response to our seeing a lady get hit by a car while walking up to the gym doors. (She was okay, by the way.) It was definitely an exclamation of shock... I think my own utterance was "fuck!"

All that said, the preponderance of its usage is the "burn!" thing everyone else has said.

rogerbox
08-26-2011, 08:37 PM
I'm surprised that the phrase "quarter of [hour]" is ambiguous enough to some people to have been the subject of not one but two threads where several people said they couldn't fathom a guess as to whether it mean [hour]:45 or [hour]:15. Regionalisms are like that: perfectly understandable to the people who use them, and often baffling to those to who don't.

No one I have ever heard has said "quarter OF (hour)", everywhere I have been it's "quarter to" (or as I would pronounce it "quarter tuh" :p ) or "quarter til". I would assume quarter of 5 means 4:45 if I heard it though, is that right?

I was startled the first time I heard "___ needs washed"

This scenario gives me more context to figure out what you mean, so I probably would figure out what you meant. In the first situation, though, I would still be wondering why you were asking me to reach down and lift the stuff.

I think I should've given the context better originally and less people maybe would've been so confused about it, I don't think I gave enough information. Kind of like you hear a somewhat obscure word on it's own and can't define it, but if it is in a sentence you know perfectly well what it means. :)

Acsenray
08-26-2011, 08:49 PM
I always thought of "oh, snap!" as an onomatopoeic representation of someone's head being snapped around by the metaphorical force of a verbal slap to the face.

Wendell Wagner
08-26-2011, 09:21 PM
I have never heard it in conversation. The few times I have heard or seen it have been on TV comedy sketches or on the SDMB. I assumed that it had something to do with the card game Snap:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snap_(card_game)#Snap

As you can see, one shouts this if one sees two identical cards. I assumed that it means, "Yeah, you're correct. You see the problem too." This isn't too far from the meaning given for the expression in the link I give. That says that it means, "Me too."

Musicat
08-26-2011, 09:34 PM
Chrome uses it in some error messages. "Oh, snap! That file isn't there anymore!"

Candyman74
08-26-2011, 09:34 PM
I'm surprised that the phrase "quarter of [hour]" is ambiguous enough to some people to have been the subject of not one but two threads where several people said they couldn't fathom a guess as to whether it mean [hour]:45 or [hour]:15. Regionalisms are like that: perfectly understandable to the people who use them, and often baffling to those to who don't.

Wow. Means neither to me! I'd have to ask you to rephrase if you said that to me - I only understand quarter to and quarter from.

minor7flat5
08-26-2011, 09:38 PM
It was a grocery store though, so i can't imagine what the ambiguity was, since she had brought the item to the checkout stand and was asking me questions to try to help her decide whether to buy it. I do believe the woman was just trying to make fun of the way I talk.I guess it really comes down to how she looked when she delivered her query.

Nevertheless, a short visit "across the pond" showed me several places where normal conversation halted because of a common phrase that was not understood.

My wife was baffled the first time some woman said to her "eat in or take away?" and she had to ask her to repeat it. Twice. (Americans say "is that for here or to go?")

On more than one occasion I had a Brit storekeeper give me a puzzled look when I said "I'm all set." Apparently that phrase is not as universal as I thought.

ETA: As for the OP, I only heard my teenagers using it as a gentle replacement for "Aw crap!" or something similar. And they were saying this ten years ago.

GameHat
08-26-2011, 10:15 PM
Usually used after a "diss", e.g., "Oh snap, he said you a trifilin' fool"

It's just a simple exclamation that can be used for a variety of purpose ( "Oh snap, I realize I forgot my keys").

The dis usage was, IMO, the original. Minor expletive came later. I still think of it in the dis usage, though I :dubious: at "triflin'".

I don't think anyone's linked it yet, so here is a funny picture:

Criteria for the proper tactical usage of the phrase: "Oh, snap!": A flowchart (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vjornaxx/294168009/)

This fits with the "dis" usage. Non-American Dopers, this is "dis" as in "disrespect", or more properly, an insult intended to put a foolishly and/or cockily arrogant person in their place.

"Get told" having the approximate meaning of "get put in their place" or "have their ego challenged and deflated"

Acsenray
08-26-2011, 10:15 PM
Wow. Means neither to me! I'd have to ask you to rephrase if you said that to me - I only understand quarter to and quarter from.

"Quarter from" is new to me. I'm familiar with "quarter after" or "quarter past."

I've heard "quarter of," but I'm never sure whether it means "quarter to/before" or "quarter past/after."

AClockworkMelon
08-26-2011, 11:19 PM
"Quarter from" is new to me. I'm familiar with "quarter after" or "quarter past."

I've heard "quarter of," but I'm never sure whether it means "quarter to/before" or "quarter past/after."I've also never heard "quarter from". "Quarter of" has always meant "quarter to" to me.

Pai325
08-27-2011, 12:07 AM
Huh. I am surprised because, I am a native Chicagoan so I occasionally get comments or confusion if I use phrases or slang from home here in Seattle. However, the SDMB is a Chicago based board, so I assumed if someone here in the northwest did not understand a phrase I used, people here would pipe in that they are familiar with it.

my husband is from the south side and I am from a northern suburb, and sometimes it was like we were from different countries! I'm sure I would have figured it out, but I would have been one of those who gave you a blank stare! :D

rogerbox
08-27-2011, 12:30 AM
my husband is from the south side and I am from a northern suburb, and sometimes it was like we were from different countries! I'm sure I would have figured it out, but I would have been one of those who gave you a blank stare! :D

I'm from the south side too so it probably makes sense why you can't understand us upstanding southside gentlemen. :D

Koxinga
08-27-2011, 12:46 AM
I somehow have the image of a large black woman saying something withering while her head does that side-to-side motion, which she then punctuates by extending her arm to side at about eye level and literally snapping her fingers. That's where I figured "ohhh SNAP" came from.

BigT
08-27-2011, 01:10 AM
I somehow have the image of a large black woman saying something withering while her head does that side-to-side motion, which she then punctuates by extending her arm to side at about eye level and literally snapping her fingers. That's where I figured "ohhh SNAP" came from.

Me, too. And that's exactly why it always makes me laugh a bit when a guy or otherwise completely incongruent person says it. So thanks, Mellon.

BTW, Firefox's spellcheck doesn't know the word incongruent. So even computers are getting in on this act.

elfkin477
08-27-2011, 02:22 AM
No one I have ever heard has said "quarter OF (hour)", everywhere I have been it's "quarter to" (or as I would pronounce it "quarter tuh" :p ) or "quarter til". I would assume quarter of 5 means 4:45 if I heard it though, is that right? That is right. And since, as you said it's so close to the "quarter to/til" construction, I was startled that it was something people had to think about. OTOH, I've heard quarter of since before I could tell time and it was reinforced by being the default way to speak about time in school, so I guess that's an advantage over people just hearing it for the first time.

Here's a confused peron elsewhere http://www.englishforums.com/English/ItsAQuarterOfSix/gcqjd/post.htm

AClockworkMelon
08-27-2011, 02:47 AM
I somehow have the image of a large black woman saying something withering while her head does that side-to-side motion, which she then punctuates by extending her arm to side at about eye level and literally snapping her fingers. That's where I figured "ohhh SNAP" came from.

Me, too. And that's exactly why it always makes me laugh a bit when a guy or otherwise completely incongruent person says it. So thanks, Mellon.That's the Z Snap. Compare:

The Z Snap (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y8ViGvCrL8&feature=related)
Oh Snap! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcxpbhM0DaA&feature)

That so many of you haven't heard of this is funny to me. It wasn't even all that popular in my school (though it did get some use) because it's so played out that anyone saying it would almost certainly be doing it ironically. It wasn't ever explained to me, it's just obvious from context what it means.

Obeseus
08-27-2011, 06:02 AM
I had never heard of it until a few years ago when my kids were watching "That's So Raven," in which they seemed to say it at least once per episode. In that show, it was obviously a substitute for something like, "Oh, shit."

Shakester
08-27-2011, 06:16 AM
I have never heard it in conversation. The few times I have heard or seen it have been on TV comedy sketches or on the SDMB. I assumed that it had something to do with the card game Snap:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snap_(card_game)#Snap

As you can see, one shouts this if one sees two identical cards. I assumed that it means, "Yeah, you're correct. You see the problem too." This isn't too far from the meaning given for the expression in the link I give. That says that it means, "Me too."

That's correct. That's the only way I've ever heard it used, as in the card game, meaning "me too".

If the game Snap isn't played in the US, or is called something different to "Snap", there's your answer; people heard it and didn't grasp the card game context and started using it in some other way. But if anyone said "Oh snap" to me I'd think they were saying "Oh, me too" because until opening this thread I've never heard it used any other way.

ETA: I'm 46, that usage dates back at least to my childhood in the 1970s

The Stafford Cripps
08-27-2011, 06:56 AM
That's correct. That's the only way I've ever heard it used, as in the card game, meaning "me too".

If the game Snap isn't played in the US, or is called something different to "Snap", there's your answer; people heard it and didn't grasp the card game context and started using it in some other way. But if anyone said "Oh snap" to me I'd think they were saying "Oh, me too" because until opening this thread I've never heard it used any other way.

I concur with all of this - few things have surprised me more on the SDMB than it taking until the bottom of the first page before someone mentioned the card game.

Try2B Comprehensive
08-27-2011, 12:15 PM
These three accurately describe my intent when I used the phrase in the thread the OP linked to.

Ha ha ha! I thought you were being sarcastic. I always thought 'oh snap' acknowledged a zinger that was really a zinger but was all wit and not really insulting in itself- like the speaker remains beyond reproach in his speech even though he is putting someone else down. Because Dawkins is being insulting and over-reaching, I thought you didn't really mean it.

So maybe nobody ever understands anybody on these boards, which would explain a lot.

Colophon
08-28-2011, 07:03 AM
Chrome uses it in some error messages. "Oh, snap! That file isn't there anymore!"
That's where I've seen it! Except Chrome says "Aw, Snap!", and it definitely means it in the, "Oh s***, something's gone wrong!" sense.

There's a screengrab right at the bottom of this blog (http://sblazak.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/) which discusses "Oh snap".

LouisB
08-28-2011, 09:04 AM
I'm an old guy who has lived in seven different states; I've never in my life actually heard anyone use the phrase "Oh, snap." The only place I've seen it written out is right here on the SDMB. I don't watch TV very much.