Roncalli’s signature snap

Discovering the origins of the infamous snap that plagues the halls of Roncalli


Photo by Max Peeples

YOU NEED: Junior Andrew Beaver snaps at the camera. The snap has been apart of Roncalli's rich culture for five years.

Any student or staff member that has walked the halls of Roncalli in the past couple years more than likely knows what “the snap” is. The Roncalli signature snap has aggravated many, but few know its true origins.

The finger snap was brought to Roncalli through the 2015 graduating class of Saint Barnabas. Three years ago, senior Will King, the forerunner of the snap, and the rest of his freshman classmates began the finger snap and from then it caught on. This begs the question, how did the snap infiltrate the halls of Saint Barnabas Catholic School?

According to King, the finger snap originated in second grade when a classmate showed Will and his peers the infamous snap.

“It dated back to 2nd grade when a kid named Joshua Johnston said he couldn’t do a traditional snap, but he could do the could do the finger snap,” said King.

King repopularized the snap his eighth grade year and when his class graduated and moved to Roncalli, the snap boomed into an iconic piece of the high school’s culture.

“The first time I saw the snap I was in the seventh grade when my friend Will showed it to me,” said junior Daniel Asher.

The supreme snap that is common amongst Roncalli students and staff is known to the rest of the world as the “tobacco snap”. The tobacco snap is a hand gesture where a person loosely swings one’s hand quickly with the index finger stuck out in order to pack a tobacco can.

At the beginning, staff found themselves scratching their heads asking, why do these students do it? A few teachers have threatened punishment of students for snapping. Ms. Hersman, a teacher at Roncalli makes her students do 10 push-ups every time they snap and she says the number of snaps have decreased since she created the consequence.

“I am not a fan…It’s a distraction in the classroom,” Hersman said.

There seems to be no specific situation that warrants the snap, but students certainly to know when the time is right.

“It really can happen at anytime. People normally do it when someone does something dumb,” said Asher.

Because the snap’s original introduction to Roncalli was almost five years ago, the snap’s popularity has somewhat faded. According to King, people still do the snap, but it is not nearly as popular as it was in its prime. Although the actual fad may fizzle into oblivion, the memory of snap will never die.