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My bad

Posted by R. Berg on June 02, 2001

In Reply to: My bad posted by ESC on June 02, 2001

: : New list seem to take a day or two to attract postings so here's one to get it started. I've noticed 'my bad' on this forum + some recent US TV shows. I imagine it means much the same as 'my mistake'. The former isn't in use in the UK. How long has it been common in the US?

: : Gary

: My daughter says she first heard it seven years ago in fifth grade here in the U.S. It's an "acknowledgement of fault," she says, and was usually used in the context of some sport. I started hearing it on TV and seeing it print maybe two years ago. It takes a while to filter down to oldsters.

"My bad" arose among basketball players, in the 1980s or earlier. This year I heard a projectionist use it after the movie stopped abruptly just a moment after the opening credits. He was announcing to the audience that he had started the film a bit too early.

By the way, the movie was "The Tailor of Panama," in which the tailor says something that shows that John Le Carre believed "the full Monty" came from suitmaking.

The editors of the Oxford English Dictionary would like to hear from anyone who has evidence in print of "my bad" before 1987:

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