my bad

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 30 15:37:27 UTC 2010

When this came up last year people had trouble finding a still earlier
discussion in the Archives.

Now I can't find last year's discussion.

Except in my mailbox.

"My bad" was print in 1980, reported as being a common term among mostly
inner-city teenagers in pick-up basketball games. It took quite a few
years to catch on in the media.

I didn't come across another ex. of "my bad" until 1994-95, when it began to
become common. If I had, I'd have made a note of it.


On Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 10:33 AM, Paul Frank <paulfrank at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Paul Frank <paulfrank at POST.HARVARD.EDU>
> Subject:      my bad
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> When did people start saying "my bad"? I never heard it in high school
> in the late 70s in England and in university in the early 80s in
> England. And I can't really remember when I first heard it in grad
> school in the U.S., but it was probably in the early 90s. Or maybe I
> wasn't listening and people have been saying it for centuries.
> Paul
> Paul Frank
> Translator
> German, French, Chinese > English
> Huémoz - Aigle - Neuchâtel, CH
> paulfrank at
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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