Oh, snap
Posted: 14 August 2007 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Does anyone know where “Oh, snap” is from?  My son came home saying it after a few months in first grade, which was fortunate, because he had been in the habit of saying, “Oh, sh-t”, gleaned from yours truly.  He says he learned “Oh,snap” from a schoolmate.  Anyone have any other similarly good phrases I could use in good conscience in moments of stress?

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Posted: 14 August 2007 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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you’re looking for something called ”minced oaths”.  It’s an odd use of the word mince in my view, but there it is.

There are many forms of these as you can imagine.  I have a grandson your son’s age and we are pretty careful around him.  But it’s a marvelous age-old problem.

Some of these are pretty transparent.

edit: I hope he didn’t get it from this video.

[ Edited: 14 August 2007 08:43 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 14 August 2007 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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MW-online has sense 2 for mince:  to utter or pronounce with affectation. Presumably minced oaths are using this sense.
<edit>
Sorry - I should have followed your Bartleby link, which gives you the same information. But it it’s hardly an odd use of the word, just a less usual one.

[ Edited: 14 August 2007 09:55 PM by frma ]
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Posted: 15 August 2007 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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frma - 14 August 2007 09:53 PM

But it it’s hardly an odd use of the word, just a less usual one.

Right.  Like many words of its kind, the leap from minutia to “mincing words” is interesting.

Anyway, regarding “Oh, Snap” itself, Wikipedia has a short paragraph (without citation) that notes that rap artist Biz Markie (Marcel Hall) popularized the phrase in 1989:

Oh, snap! is an expression popularized by Markie in the 1989 song “Just a Friend”. It has since entered the mainstream as an expression of disbelief. The phrase is a polite substitution for “Oh, shit!” It has also entered use as acknowledgement of a diss by third parties, to heighten the feeling of disrespect and insult. “Oh, Snap!” has been known to be used as another way of saying “zing!” It may also be used as an expression of shock or amazement.[

[ Edited: 15 August 2007 06:03 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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