Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Apr 7 19:58:26 UTC 2009

On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 3:20 PM, Victor <aardvark66 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>> check out the "In Living Color" "Men on X" sketches (beginning with
>> "Men on Film"), in which Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier play two
>> flamboyantly effeminate gay men reviewing films, tv, etc.  almost
>> every sketch had finger-snapping accompanying the opinions.
>  If I am not mistaken, one of their ratings was "two snaps and a twist".

Or "two snaps in a circle" or some other variation thereof. Wilson may remember
better, but I don't recall them using the simpler version, "(Oh) snap!"

Earliest I know of for "Oh snap!" in hip-hop lyrics is from Biz Markie's 1989
hit, "Just a Friend":

So I came to her room and opened the door
Oh, snap! Guess what I saw?
A fella tongue-kissin' my girl in the mouth,
I was so in shock my heart went down south.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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