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My bad

A discussion of slang and the changes it undergoes.

My bad

Postby Audiendus » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:31 am

My bad

My mistake, my fault, mea culpa.

This expression apparently originated in African-American basketball in the 1980s, and has become common since the 1990s through the internet. Opinions seem to differ as to whether it represents a sincere apology, or a perfunctory or flippant one.

I would be interested to hear people's views on this. Do you use this expression, and if so, do you mean "I am genuinely sorry" or "I was wrong, but I don't care all that much"?
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:43 am

I hear it with maybe increasing frequency. For some folks who seem to like hip language, it replaces I'm sorry. It can either be flip or genuine, but is only in every day conversation, not deep apiologies for serious foul-ups. Those require more than a few words.
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Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:06 pm

"My bad," seems flippant. Let's avoid it.
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Postby Slava » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:53 am

I can't say I've ever used it myself, but it does not seem entirely flippant to me. My take is that it is a mild "hang-dog" apology, a kind of "Oops, sorry 'bout that, I was wrong". It includes the apology and asks for forgiveness at the same time.
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