Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 7 20:41:14 UTC 2009

Google Book search turns up one apparent antedate (asterisks for italics):

Oh! *snap!* the snubbing little beast! He couldn't have said worse! Pulley
*is* in a passion, Satters is sorry he spoke, he'll take good care next

The Childermass (p.82)
By Wyndham Lewis
Published by Covici, Friede, 1928
Original from the University of Michigan
Digitized Jun 27, 2006
322 pages

My wife, a librarian with a long exposure to children's and young adult
books, says that she's seen it in older British books but with a very
different usage, analogous to the "bread and butter!" of our childhood, used
when two people say the same thing simultaneously. (Among children only?)
This would seem unrelated.

Mark Mandel

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

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