16 October 2013

Meh


Have you seen the word "meh" online? It is a new interjection used to express indifference or boredom. Sometimes it is used as a verb or an adjective.

Since the word doesn't appear in mainstream dictionaries, it is hard to confirm its etymology.  But it is included in the online Wiktionary and it in the online Urban Dictionary.

Samples usages:
“What do you want to do tonight?”
“Meh. I don't care.”

"That movie was great." 
“Meh. I’ve seen better.”

Some websites give a Yiddish origin because it is similar to the interjection "feh" which is supposed to be a transliteration of the sound a goat makes.

Wikipedia says that meh appeared back in 1992 on a Usenet forum.

It seems that the first print usage was in the Canadian Edmonton Sun in 2003: "Ryan Opray got voted off Survivor. Meh."



I believe the first time I encountered it must have been on TV's The Simpsons in the1992 episode "Homer's Triple Bypass." Sadly, that is Lisa's explanation of her generation's reaction to things like her father's open heart surgery.

It shows up in a few other episodes too. When Homer tries to get the kids away from the TV and out to an amusement park. Lisa and Bart reply 'meh' and keep watching TV and when Homer asks again, Lisa says "We said MEH! M-E-H, meh!' "

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