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

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 31 03:28:31 UTC 2017

"Receipts" was the runner-up (behind "woke") in the Slang Word of the Year
category in the 2016 ADS WOTY voting.


You can see our "Among the New Words" treatment of "receipts" in the May
2017 issue of American Speech (pp. 214-5).


On Mon, Oct 30, 2017 at 11:19 PM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at ameritech.net>

> 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: https://twitter.com/bluelightt
> v/status/924091177724387329
> 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.c
> om/define.php?term=saved> snaps.
> Emma: Bitch where the fuck did she say she was going <
> https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=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 <https://www.urbandictionary.c
> om/author.php?author=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.c
> om/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.c
> om/define.php?term=100>,000 Crack Cocaine purchases.
> 1a. "Miss Whitney does not do crack <https://www.urbandictionary.c
> om/define.php?term=crack>, o.k.! Crack <https://www.urbandictionary.c
> om/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 <https://www.urbandictionary.c
> om/define.php?term=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)
> receipts..."
> 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 <https://www.urbandictionary.c
> om/define.php?term=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
> cashier.
> #buy <https://www.urbandictionary.com/tags.php?tag=buy>#recipt <
> https://www.urbandictionary.com/tags.php?tag=recipt>#purchase <
> https://www.urbandictionary.com/tags.php?tag=purchase>#sell <
> https://www.urbandictionary.com/tags.php?tag=sell>#aquire <
> https://www.urbandictionary.com/tags.php?tag=aquire>
> 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:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdyaLWMt6qA
> 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.
> Neal

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

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