How did "my mistake" become, "my bad"?

As a Brit I’m guessing there was a show or routine that included this mutation that was popular in the US - is this too obvious a reason? Did it evolve? The first time I heard an actor say this - maybe Jay, in ‘Strike Back’, I thought, ‘Your bad what?’
Any guesses?

Best guess I have ever been able to formulate is that it was short for “am I bad”

I think it was a general cultural evolution sort of thing. I think it started off as black slang before being copied by everyone else (just like everything else in American culture, really). I don’t recall the phrase being associated with any particular celebrity or fictional character. It’s hard to say for sure, though, because we’ve been saying it for a lot longer than since Jay and Silent Bob. It’s a pretty old expression by now, although off the top of my head, I can’t really think of where else I’ve heard it used in media.

I don’t think it’s short for anything, it’s associative: My fault -> mistake -> error = bad.

Search term: etymology “My Bad”

From this site:

I wouldn’t necessarily take this as a strictly authoratative source but it looks like the phrase has been around a while.


My friends and I used it when we were in the 7th grade (ca. 1976).

This has got to be one of the most often asked questions on the SDMB. FWIW, I first heard it in 1985 in Atlanta, though it appears to be older than that.

I’m pretty sure I was hearing it about ten years ago, so while Clueless may have made it more popular, at least some of the suburban white kids were using it by the mid-to-late 90s.

I’m moving this from Cafe Society forum to General Questions forum… you’ll have better luck, I think, in finding etymologists.