Word Of The Week: ‘Snatched’


Do you feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the rapid expansion of the English lexicon? You’re not alone. A lethal combination of celebrity culture and twitter has given rise to a host of new and at times seemingly unintelligible words. As such, we shall be taking an in-depth look at one word each week, exploring its etymology, meaning and significance in pop culture and beyond. It’ll be just like learning your ABCs again. Welcome to Word of the Week.

1.    Slang. A term used to describe something current or on trend.   

Snatched is a straightforward evolution of Fleek. Regular readers will know that only 2 weeks ago, Fleek was our WOTW. How quickly times change. Perhaps the Internet became completely saturated with Fleek and needed some kind of alternative. Or maybe we just bored with it and needed something new. After all, this is a word used to describe something on trend. Is it too far to consider that language should move and evolve at the same speed as societal trends? Is that even possible? 

Understanding Snatched has an added difficulty we’ve not yet seen until now. How does a past participle act as an adjective? We’ve been pondering this for the last week and remain none the wiser. If you can explain it, we’d be grateful for some input. If language is evolving so quickly that centuries old grammatical structure is falling apart I’d suggest we’re in serious trouble. 

We were under the impression that the only major derivation from snatch, semantically speaking, was that it had become one of a thousand alternatives to vagina. We were so wrong. 

While it is now broadly used in the same way Fleek is, Snatched does in fact have an origin of sorts, similar in a way to Fleek – eyebrows spawned fleek, wigs gave birth to snatched. Seriously? 

On the back of a childhood watching what I thought was a grey squirrel perched on my grandmother’s head I thought wigs were the preserve of the elderly. How wrong could I be?  

How did it come to pass that wigs could be described as snatched? Snatched from what? Snatched by whom? This phenomenon is arguably WOTW’s biggest challenge to date. The wig and weave is the physical embodiment of celebrity at its finest. You name them, they’ve probably rocked a wig at some time – Lady Gaga, Nicky Minaj, Rihanna, Rita Ora, Ariana Grande, Katy Perryand and last but certainly not least, various members of the Kardashian / Jenner family – they’ve all worn wigs. This in itself is in no way a bad thing, we couldn’t criticise anyone for making the decision to wear a wig – it’s a free country after all. It’s the grotesque adjective / past participle hybrid accompanying it that is baffling. Stop eroding pillars of the English language.