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  #1  
Old 08-26-2011, 01:37 PM
suranyi suranyi is online now
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What does "Oh snap!" mean?

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/...php?p=14185272

What does it mean, and what was its origin?
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2011, 01:46 PM
Candyman74 Candyman74 is offline
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I'm with you. No clue at all. I'm guessing it's like "pwned" or something; I've never heard anyone say it.
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2011, 01:46 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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"You did NOT just say that!" Usually carries an amused rather than confrontational connotation.

Appears to have originated with Tracy Morgan on SNL.
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2011, 01:46 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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An article with some possibilities as to the origin: http://www.edrants.com/the-mysteriou...ns-of-oh-snap/
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2011, 01:47 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
An article with some possibilities as to the origin: http://www.edrants.com/the-mysteriou...ns-of-oh-snap/
My bad: it didn't originate with Morgan but it was popularized by him.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2011, 01:51 PM
ecoaster ecoaster is offline
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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").
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:00 PM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
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Suranyi and Candyman74, just curious but if you are Americans, how old are you?
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:05 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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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."
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:06 PM
Candyman74 Candyman74 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
Suranyi and Candyman74, just curious but if you are Americans
I'm not.
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:08 PM
Jas09 Jas09 is offline
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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.
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:10 PM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
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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.
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:12 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 08-26-2011 at 02:12 PM..
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:13 PM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
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...I know, that was the point of asking, people different from me are interesting, people the exact same as me, not so much.
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:17 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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..."
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:20 PM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
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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.

Last edited by rogerbox; 08-26-2011 at 02:22 PM..
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  #16  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:22 PM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
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Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
...purchase the item?" in a cornball voice.
Ok, I totally heard Hannibal Lechter faking a West Virgina drawl there.
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  #17  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:29 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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."
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  #18  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:33 PM
astorian astorian is online now
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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."

Last edited by astorian; 08-26-2011 at 02:33 PM..
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  #19  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:34 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
"You did NOT just say that!" Usually carries an amused rather than confrontational connotation.
This is correct.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post

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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoaster View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jas09 View Post
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.
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  #20  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:35 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian View Post
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.
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  #21  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:46 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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.
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  #22  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:50 PM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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".
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  #23  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:51 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
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.
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  #24  
Old 08-26-2011, 02:58 PM
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So much for my assumption that it just took the place of an actual finger snap...
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:24 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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Originally Posted by Onomatopoeia View Post
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
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  #26  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:31 PM
astorian astorian is online now
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Originally Posted by Onomatopoeia View Post
I have never heard it used this way.
Try watching Disney's "Chicken Little"!
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  #27  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:32 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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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.
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  #28  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:34 PM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
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Originally Posted by cjepson View Post
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.
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  #29  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:49 PM
suranyi suranyi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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.

Last edited by suranyi; 08-26-2011 at 03:50 PM..
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  #30  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:56 PM
Claire Beauchamp Claire Beauchamp is offline
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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.
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  #31  
Old 08-26-2011, 03:58 PM
suranyi suranyi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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.

Last edited by suranyi; 08-26-2011 at 04:01 PM..
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  #32  
Old 08-26-2011, 04:08 PM
Hermitian Hermitian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post

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.
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  #33  
Old 08-26-2011, 04:14 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Originally Posted by Folly View Post
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.
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  #34  
Old 08-26-2011, 04:16 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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"Oh snap!" is like "Ooooh, burn!" It's an expression of appreciation for a good comeback or putdown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
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."
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjepson View Post
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.
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  #35  
Old 08-26-2011, 04:22 PM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post

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
Yes.

There also used to be a game guys used to play in the neighborhood called snaps, which was hilarious.
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  #36  
Old 08-26-2011, 04:24 PM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is online now
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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!'

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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.
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  #37  
Old 08-26-2011, 05:04 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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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."
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  #38  
Old 08-26-2011, 05:11 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Originally Posted by astorian View Post
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.
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  #39  
Old 08-26-2011, 05:18 PM
Candyman74 Candyman74 is offline
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
"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!
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:24 PM
Arnold Winkelried Arnold Winkelried is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
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!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
This is my understanding of the phrase.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onomatopoeia View Post
Yes.
Count me in as another one that agrees with Roderick Femm. When I hear "Oh snap" it's usually in this context.
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  #41  
Old 08-26-2011, 06:01 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
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Originally Posted by Candyman74 View Post
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."

Last edited by Hello Again; 08-26-2011 at 06:02 PM..
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  #42  
Old 08-26-2011, 06:09 PM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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Originally Posted by Onomatopoeia View Post
Actually, it is an approving, somewhat incredulous response to a witty, clever, and unexpected insult.
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Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
It's an acknowledgment that a burn has been delivered, that the person the speaker was addressing did, indeed, get told.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
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.
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  #43  
Old 08-26-2011, 06:43 PM
Pai325 Pai325 is offline
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Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post

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.

Last edited by Pai325; 08-26-2011 at 06:46 PM..
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  #44  
Old 08-26-2011, 07:13 PM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
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Originally Posted by Pai325 View Post
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".

Last edited by rogerbox; 08-26-2011 at 07:15 PM..
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  #45  
Old 08-26-2011, 07:26 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:29 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is online now
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Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
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.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:35 PM
Student Driver Student Driver is online now
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Originally Posted by Colophon View Post
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.
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  #48  
Old 08-26-2011, 07:37 PM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
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" ) 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"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
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.

Last edited by rogerbox; 08-26-2011 at 07:38 PM..
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  #49  
Old 08-26-2011, 07:49 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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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.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:21 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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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."

Last edited by Wendell Wagner; 08-26-2011 at 08:23 PM..
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