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(Look here for other zaps!)

From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959
is the sound made by a ray-gun when it's fired, if you've not had occasion to notice. But a Zap-gun is a water-pistol, or sometimes a toy ray-gun. Martin Alger explains the ultimate source thus:

"At the Torcon they showed an atomic energy movie and a lot of the neofen were milling around during the showing. I asked Ben Singer if he were 'bored because nobody in the film has pulled a raygun and gone Zap! Zap!?'... I never heard the term used before this, so I guess that was the source."

Apparently, unbeknownst to any, a reporter was standing in the neighborhood, for the Toronto Morning Star headlines its convention report "Zap! Zap! Atomic Ray Passe with Fiends!" And, as Martin says, fans were delighted with this and the term caught on from there.

From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959
Shucks, Eney, Buck Rogers' rayguns were making this sound for many years before the Torcon. But they were not previously identified with the water pistols.

Fanspeak Reasonator
This is a fanspeak page. Please extend it by adding information about when and by whom it was coined, whether it’s still in use, etc.