Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 8 01:02:15 UTC 2009

On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 4:52 PM, Benjamin Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 4:41 PM, Mark Mandel <thnidu at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > 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.
> See OED2 for this usage, with cites back to 1890. (Def: "The call in the
> card-game snap (SNAP n. 5d); hence as an exclamation used when two similar
> objects turn up or two similar events take place.")

Ah ha. Thank you.

She gives this example:

> The characters here are 13 and 15 years old. The "Snap!" here is in response to
> the two of them making the same noise at the same time. Usually, it is in
> response to two people saying the same thing at the same time.
>> As they set off to follow the others, Mitt slid his hand carefully down Maewen's
>> arm and took hold of her hand. It was the most momentous and the most exciting
>> thing he had ever done in his life.
>> _Click!_
>> "Snap!" said Maewen, as Mitt swung their joined hands up to see what the noise was.
> Dianna Wynne Jones. _The Crown of Dalemark_. c.1993. Beech Tree Paperback, New
> York, p.341.

m a m

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

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