Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Oh Snap!

Sometimes the difference in word meaning in the US and UK is too complex to be covered in a Word of the Week post.  Let's talk about the word "snap".


When Ross and I were dating, we had a conversation about a phrase that didn't translate from America to England.  I believe an American friend had commented on a Facebook post of Ross' saying "Oh snap!".  Ross was confused as he didn't think that the response made sense in relation to his original statement.

After some discussion we learned that someone saying "Snap" as an interjection means very different things.  In America it is generally preceded by "Oh" and means the equivalent of "Oooh, burn" or "You told him/her".  It's generally used with no small element of humour.  In England, however, "Snap" means "Me too" or "Twinsies!".  Definitely a difference in meaning and I can see why Ross was confused!

Another difference is one that I've noticed in relation to baby wear.

Linus' Tigger Onesie.  I think I can squeeze one more wear out of this before it gets retired as too small.

What would you call the 3 little fasteners at the crotch?  I would call them snaps, but here in the UK they are generally referred to as poppers.  Both names make sense in an onomatopoeic way.  Poppers sounds a bit cuter, I think.

Who knew there was so much to say about the word snap?
Do you know of any other phrases with differing meanings? 




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