Why do people say "my bad" ??

I find more and more people are using this term and I have no idea how it came to be, or for that matter, what it means exactly. I would guess it means something like “sorry, my mistake”, but why not say that? Saying “my bad” just sounds stupid to me. Who invented this phrase, BTW?

I know that it means something along the lines of “im sorry, that was my fault” but that would be WAY too polite for people these days so they had to invent something less polite so “my bad” came about.


This site says:

“My Bad” means "My fault"and is used loosly, so the meaning is appropriate, but not always gramatically correct. It seems to have originated from the urban streets (ie. it’s Ebonics). The trend of language is always to get courser (less polite) and shorter.
This should only be used very informally. I say it to people who are my friends/coworkers and not anybody else, as it seems to informal for most situations. My friends/coworkers are used to me screwing up, and saying “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that in that manner.” seems a bit wordy when “my bad” will do. I used to use “my fault” for this, untill “my bad” was popularized.

My bad doing?

[hijack] When /and why, did the USA dump the ‘to’ from the prhase “write to me”?[/hijack]

Every time I hear someone say “write me” it feels like there’s a hole in the sentence.

Like “my name peter” or “what time it?”

When I was in High School (1984-1988), it was common to hear “my bag” as slang for somebody who was left holding the bag - i.e. screwed up. I had always assumed that “my bad” evolved from that.

I thought “bad” was being used as a noun equivalent to “error.”

My error = my bad.

So, in any given situation, when someone says “who did that?” the response would be “my bad” = I did it.

I remember hearing it phrased as a question; sort of a contraction: " 'm I bad?"

My friends and I used this phrase in the mid-70s and we said because the black guys in our class said it.

It comes from pure stupidity and laziness, nothing else.

It is obvisously incorrect grammatically, the comrrect version would read something more like this:

“That was my mistake.” or maybe, “Oopsa, I am sorry, that was my mistake.”

Of course it’s incorrect grammatically, it’s slang. It’s supposed to be.

I picked it up from hearing it alot on Buffy (I think Season 1) and now just can’t get rid of the habit.

It’s just like when people use run-on sentences, right? :rolleyes:

There is no “hole” at all. The problem is that the USA is using a proper dative in the ancient English fashion while other speakers of English use that “to me” neologism.

“Write me.” is essentially equivalent to “Schreib’ mir.” The difference is that English doesn’t have the inflection it used to.

Prithee, good cuz, know ye whereof a goodman might have recourse to a via medicum of discourse and grammar proper?

In a nutshell, your claim of “pure stupidity and laziness” is itself a remarkable example of pure stupidity and ignorance of language. Do you only use the Bard’s phrasings?

Indeed, I’ve come across English professors who decry everything after Chaucer! Nevertheless, they do so in modern English.

I said it feels like there’s a hole. It still does. Because I am so used to the phrase “write to me”. I am not saying we’re right and you are wrong.

What is a neologism?

Remember, this phrase originated in street basketball, and was therefore uttered by people who were running and jumping around and quite often out of breath. This phrase is therefore condensed as much as possible. All it takes are two one syllable words to communicate that a fault was made “bad” and who did it “my”. And in the middle of a game, you’d be less concerned with proper grammar and more concerned with keeping up your pace and not getting punched for dropping a great pass or missing an important shot.

I may be being naive here, but I always thought it was a slangy translation of Mea culpa. This seems an unlikely explanation if it originated in street basketball.

Once upon a time, I assumed that it was derived from a witty response to a grammatic error that is common on the net:

Doper1: i hate u, your stupid!
Doper2: My stupid?