[Ads-l] "receipts" = "proof"

Neal Whitman nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET
Tue Oct 31 03:19:24 UTC 2017

I recently became aware of the word "receipts" to mean "proof", not 
necessarily proof involving receipts. My son was imagining proving to 
someone that his story about a peer of his was true by showing them some 
screen caps of text exchanges. He said, "I'd be like, 'Take a look at 
these receipts!'" I didn't know that the apps he used for communicating 
showed read-receipts, and even if they did, why would someone need proof 
that this person read HIS messages instead of proof of the messages THEY 
sent to HIM? He explained this more general meaning.

A couple of days ago, I saw this thread of tweets, in which "receipts" 
is used this way, and also is called out: 

The top definition on Urban Dictionary is from 2016, and matches my 
son's usage precisely:
receipts <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=receipts>
Evidence or proof 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=proof>. Often in the 
form <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=form> of 
screenshots or saved 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=saved> snaps.
Emma: Bitch where the fuck did she say she was going 
Sophie <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Sophie>: Pull up 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Pull%20up> them receipts
by PhoodoVoodoVaVaVoom 
November 21, 2016

The second-most popular is the earliest UD definition, which despite 
being incredibly ineptly written, offers a possible origin story to 
follow up:
receipts <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=receipts>
1. To disbelive something 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=something> so much that 
some kind of hard evidence is required.
2. To be so frustrated by a social situation that you wish there was 
some kind of red tape to guide it with.
Origin- Whitney 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Whitney> Houston's 
Diane Sawyer interview, where Whitney requests Diane provide reciepts 
for her allegation of over $100 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=100>,000 Crack Cocaine 
1a. "Miss Whitney does not do crack 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=crack>, o.k.! Crack 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Crack> is for poor 
people! I want you to show me the receipts 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=receipts> Diane, Show 
Me The Receipts 
1b. Carl,"I met Johnny Depp last night at the Green Mill and we sat up 
drinking and screwing hookers till dawn!"
Tad, "Receipts Carl, receipts."
2. Wancy, "They're waiting for us down at Friends 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Friends>, we've got to 
leave now. Guy's, Guy's, is anyone listening to me? We have to go or 
they'll all be drunk as shit when we get there... (muttering dejectedly) 
by Krazy-K <https://www.urbandictionary.com/author.php?author=Krazy-K> 
September 07, 2005

The fourth most-popular one seems to be a reaction against this extended 
use of "receipts":
receipt <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=receipt>
A piece <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=A%20piece> of 
paper <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=paper> you get to 
prove your purchase 
i bought <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bought> shoes 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=shoes> and got 
<https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=got> a receipt from the 
#buy <https://www.urbandictionary.com/tags.php?tag=buy>#recipt 
by Meni <https://www.urbandictionary.com/author.php?author=Meni> October 
23, 2006

The Diane Sawyer interview seems to have happened in 2002. Here's a 
YouTube clip uploaded in 2009:

Houston actually does say, "I want to see the receipts from whoever I 
bought the drugs from." On the one hand, she seems to be referring to 
actual receipts. On the other hand, I wasn't aware that drug dealers 
wrote receipts.

You can also find animated GIFs of this clip.


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

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