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#16948 - 01/25/01 02:03 PM My Bad

does anyone find the expression 'My Bad' as a mea culpa admission as annoying as i do? i've been seeing and hearing it withing increasing frequency lately, and i'm wondering about its etymology. (the sad thing is that i've found myself using it a bit, lately... but only when in Rome.)

Do any of you use it? Does it by chance trace its origins to the world of sports? i hear it often on the tennis court.


Ipsa scientia potestas est ~Bacon

#16949 - 01/25/01 02:10 PM Phrases that inflict excruciating pain
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Yes, Bridget, I am of the same opinion. And by your very definition, "mea culpa" is so much more erudite. I thought that's what tennis courts were for... the refined who can be trusted to wear white. Leave "my bad" for the rugby field. [impishly holding a match to the international tinderbox emoticon]

#16950 - 01/25/01 04:46 PM Re: My Bad
Hyla Offline

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 544
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I have also heard this as "My bag," which I understand less than "My bad" and thus find even more excruciating.

#16951 - 01/25/01 08:58 PM Re: My Bad
nikeblack Offline

Registered: 01/19/01
Posts: 87
Loc: City of Brotherly Love, no not...
I find the expression puzzling; why not simply say "my mistake?"

I first heard "my bad" from my step-son when he was about 9. Seems he had been using that expression for quite a while (he is 15 now) and was even encouraged to use it. I gathered he had invented the phrase himself. I don't think he's the source of current wide-spread use of it, though. He doesn't get around _that_ much and neither rugby nor tennis is his bag.

(I love it. The spell-checker seems to think that "rugby" should be "rugged.")

#16952 - 01/26/01 12:00 AM Re: My Bad
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
nikeblack observed that The spell-checker seems to think that "rugby" should be "rugged."

And, for once, Ænigma is absolutely right! Rugby should be rugged, and many here in NZ feel that a loss of ruggedness has contributed to the downfall of the national Godhead.

#16953 - 01/26/01 01:44 PM Re: My Bad/My Bag
Jazzoctopus Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/03/00
Posts: 1094
Loc: Cincinnati & Loveland, Ohio, U...
Belonging to the infamous generation from which these terms appear to come I don't think "my bad" and "my bag" are the same. My bad, as you have pointed out, means "my mistake". I really don't know where it came from. But "my bag" means, as far as I know, "something I like" or "something with which I'm associated." In the movie Austin Powers, when Austin arrives in the present after being cryogenically frozen he is given a box of his belongings. Contained therein is a Swedish [you know what] Enlarger. Somewhat flustered, Austin tells his new partner, a young lady of the '90s, that it's "not my bag, baby." Austin is supposed to be from the 1960's so I would say that "my bag" was a '60s UK term.

#16954 - 01/26/01 02:04 PM Re: My Bad/My Bag
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
JazzO comments: Austin is supposed to be from the 1960's so I would say that "my bag" was a '60s UK term.

Quite right. The phrase was a small brick in the structure of the Hippie Culture. Well, except for the UK part. It was in common use in the States, too.

#16955 - 01/26/01 07:41 PM Re: Phrases that inflict excruciating pain
nikeblack Offline

Registered: 01/19/01
Posts: 87
Loc: City of Brotherly Love, no not...
I was treadling away on some dreary machine at the gym and thinking about Bridget's dislike of "my bad." A phrase I _really_ hate came to mind, to wit, "it's a mute point." Drives me up the wall when ostensibly well-educated colleagues of mine use that phrase in a discussion. One of these days...

But, it got me to thinking, what about "it's a moot point?" I use that sometimes and am I using it correctly, I thinks. Off to the dictionaries. First my steadfast Oxford Universal Dictionary (1933, 1956) (takes up less shelf space than the OED) - moot = debatable, doubtful, undecided (among other things.) Next: my 1973 Webster's New Collegiate does have an added def. "deprived of practical significance..." So, in current American usage I seem to use "moot point" correctly, as in, "this point is unimportant in this discussion." Was curious then to see what one of our older dictionaries (husband's collection) had to say on the matter:
1943 Collegiate - "debatable"
1936 Webster's Universal Unabridged - "debatable"
1956 The Volume Library - "debatable"
Essentially, they all followed the Oxford's lead.

So, sometime between 1956 and 1973 we, Americans at least, acknowledged that we were using "moot" to mean "of no significance in this discussion."

Wow, glad I cleared that up. ;-) Hmm, may be time to go get the newest new dictionary...

Aenigma seems to think that OED should be Oedipal.

#16956 - 01/26/01 07:47 PM Re: Phrases that inflict excruciating pain
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10538
Loc: this too shall pass
"it's a mute point" is my pet peeve #37 (I think, I seem to have lost track ;) -- and you're right, it's only the pseudo-educated who would even think of using this.

#16957 - 01/27/01 02:51 AM Re: Phrases that inflict excruciating pain
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>So, sometime between 1956 and 1973 we, Americans at least, acknowledged that we were using "moot" to mean "of no significance in this discussion."

It looks like I must have been misunderstanding people for years then, i was only aware of the pre- 1956 definition (and i'm not that old!).

There are lots of Moot Halls in English towns. I assume that they were built for debating and contribute towards the use of the term "moot point".
Here's a couple:
http://www.bedford.gov.uk/bedford/tic/john bunyan moot hall.htm
- put the words "moot hall" into Google to find others.

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