Snitches get stitches

Meaning

What does Snitches get stitches mean?

The phrase Snitches get stitches is a popular expression in the American English language, especially in hood slang, used to warn someone of the consequences if they choose to tell secrets or reveal something to the police that is meant to be kept private.

Sometimes, the phrase is edited, appearing as “Snitches get stitches, and are sent to the ditches”, emphasizing the threatening tone of the phrase.

It’s a phrase that has been around for quite some time, discouraging Dry Snitching, but has recently become popularized through its use in memes, GIFs, and other online media.

Street lessons by Dr. Seuss

Origin

What's the origin of Snitches get stitches?

The origin of the phrase is unknown. However, it is believed to have originated in the United States during the mid-20th century as an expression of street culture and gang life.

The phrase implies that a snitch, or anyone else who reveals secrets to the police, will face physical violence or consequences as punishment.

Despite its grim message, the phrase has been adopted with a witty tone by many people on social media, who use it as a humorous way to caution others against snitching, or otherwise helping others to information that doesn’t concern them.

Spread & Usage

How did Snitches get stitches spread?

The spread of “Snitches get stitches” has been largely facilitated by meme culture.

You will often hear it as a threat in action films, usually involving a storyline in the rundown section of a city. For example, it is mentioned half-way into the crime drama “The Mentalist: Like A Redheaded Stepchild” in 2011, but also in the TV comedy series “Parks and Recreation”.

In recent years, there has been an influx of memes featuring animals or cartoon characters with captions such as “Snitches get stitches” or similar phrases as a way to convey the warning in a lighthearted manner, playing on the common trope of hating police.

Additionally, GIFs featuring characters from popular films and television shows have also been used to spread this message, albeit usually in a more formal tone.

As late as in 2020, Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala dropped a new album named “Snitches Get Stitches.”

It has also been a popular marketing tool on retail sites, where you will find the phrase on accessories, shirts and various other products, encouraging fans of the meme to buy.

Overall, “Snitches get stitches” is an age-old expression that has gained newfound popularity through its adoption into meme culture.

Its origins remain uncertain, though its message remains clear – act like a snitch, and you might just find yourself in the ditches!

 

External resources

More interesting stuff