Aw, Snap!

Aw, Snap!

I noticed recently that when a webpage crashes in the Google Chrome browser, you get an error message beginning with “Aw, Snap!”, which always amuses me. It’s not an expression I’ve ever used, and seeing it got me wondering whether it is in common use in other English-speaking countries. If you don’t use this expression, what others might you use in similar circumstances?

I’d probably say something like “Oops!” or “Oh dear!”.

What are equivalents of these expressions in other languages?

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This entry was posted in English, Language, Words and phrases.

8 Responses to Aw, Snap!

  1. YankeeTranslator says:

    “Aw snap” is not equivalent to “oh dear.” This is an American expression, used by those who were in high school at the turn of the millennium or later. It is used to rub the salt into the wound of someone who has somehow failed or been rejected, although in a light-hearted or jocular manner. So for instance, if Simon were to post a mystery language that was Semitic, and a Semitic expert guesses incorrectly but someone who is not a Semitic expert does guess correctly, the latter would say to the former “Aw snap!” As in: “You are supposed to be the expert here, but little ol’ me beat you!” It could also be read as the interlocutor himself expressing dismay at his own failure. Hence, perhaps the google blerb should be read as “We are supposed to be this great technology company, and yet here we are, unable to process your straightforward page request!” or it could be read as “You tried to get to this page… and you failed!”

  2. Louis says:

    Where I’m from (St.Louis, MO, USA) “Aw, snap!” is kind of a lighthearted phrase used by someone (usually a younger person) regarding a mistake they or someone else has made. If it’s used in reference to someone else, it means, “How’d you mess that one up?”, but not in a mean or insulting way. When I hear people using the phrase in reference to themselves, it takes on the equivalent of, “Dang it!” or “Whoops!” As in, “Aw, snap! I left my keys inside. Hold on I’ll be right back!”

  3. Paul S. says:

    Weird. I’ve only ever heard “aw, snap!” on My name is Earl, before I noticed it in Chrome. I had no idea it was so… nuanced.

  4. David Eger says:

    “Fui!” is one that I heard frequently in Latvia.

    Latvian is rather poor in expletives proper, and generally borrows them from Russian (and probably, nowadays, English) when really necessary. The same is true for Welsh, by and large (which borrows from English, not Russian).

    A friend of mine was staying with friends of his in NW France at the time of the recent storm. When his host (who speaks little English) went outside amid the gales to discover that two of their horse boxes had blown over, my friend was surprised to hear him shouting, “Shit! Shit! Shit!” (or perhaps, “Chite! Chite! Chite!”), not “Merde! Merde! Merde!”.

  5. David Eger says:

    …Just the other day, I was having a coffee in a local cafe/bar. The lady serving, having dropped something on the floor, exclaimed, “Rats!”. (I suggested, given the nature of the establishment, she might choose a different word.)

  6. dreaminjosh says:

    Where I’m from (Southeastern USA), “Aw, snap” and “Oh, snap” are still used and have a broader meaning than the examples mentioned above. Here it’s been used to express general surprise, acknowledgement of a mistake or even admiration:

    “Aw, snap… I broke my pencil!”
    “Oh, SNAP! This is my favorite song!”
    “Awwww, snap! That kid can run!”

    It’s a euphemism for “shit” which can also be used in all the examples I gave. Even in situations where profanity would be acceptable, it’s sometimes used for comedic effect… mainly because it sounds so 90s.

  7. Lev says:

    This reminds me of the show “Ladette to Lady”, where Australian “ladettes” are taught manners to become “ladies”. So one of the teachers suggested a ladette to say “whoops-a-daisy” whenever she wanted to use an expletive.

  8. Prussia says:

    Ёлки-Палки. Yolki palki. Still my favourite. Fir trees and branches!
    As in oh darn it, whoops a daisy type innocuous type thing.