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1929 as a sound, 1942 as a verb, comic strip word (especially from "Buck Rogers in the Twenty-Fifth Century"), of imitative origin. Meaning "to erase electronically" is 1982. Related: Zapped; zapping.
An exclamation imitating sudden impact; wham: It's a gradual thing. It ain't zap, you're healed (1929+)noun
[fr the echoic word used to convey the sound of a ray gun in the comic strip ''Buck Rogers in the Twenty-Fifth Century'']