One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Used to represent the sound of an impact, blow, explosion, etc.: ‘bang!’, ‘pow!’.
2Used as an expression of contempt: ‘nonsense!’, ‘rubbish!’ rare.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Charlotte Smith (1749–1806), poet and novelist. Imitative. Compare piff, poof [noun²].
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