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Why the term “snak” keeps appearing in the Wikidata API

This is one of those terms I kept seeing in API responses and documentation, but it wasn’t immediately obvious to me what it means. I found an explanation in the Wikibase/DataModel docs:

For lack of a better name, any such basic assertion that one can make in Wikidata is called a Snak (which is small, but more than a byte). This term will not be relevant for using Wikidata (editors will not encounter it), but it is relevant for developers to avoid confusion with Statements or other claims.