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MORE ON MEH.

Back in 2007 I posted about "the dismissive exclamation meh"; now, in a new Boston Globe column, Ben Zimmer reports on an exciting new historical discovery:Yiddish appears to be the ultimate source. I checked with Ben Sadock, a Yiddish expert in New York, and he turned up a tantalizing early example. In the 1928 edition of his Yiddish-English-Hebrew dictionary, Alexander Harkavy included the word meh (written in the corresponding Hebrew letters) and glossed it as an interjection meaning ?be it as it may? and an adjective meaning ?so-so.
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See more about: Ben Zimmer

PARADE OF HORRIBLES.

Academics / Linguistics : Language Hat (2 years ago)

Ben Zimmer has a Boston Globe column on a phrase and a custom both unknown to me, and I'm glad to know about them now. The phrase, "parade of horribles," is used by lawyers "typically as a put-down used by one side in a dispute to d... Read Post

SKALLEWAGG.

Academics / Linguistics : Language Hat (last year)

A Visual Thesaurus post by Ben Zimmer is an interesting exploration of the history of a great word, scalawag:My latest column for the Boston Globe tells how Nathaniel Sharpe, a 22-year-old amateur genealogist from a small town in No... Read Post

The Roots Of "Meh"

Politics : The Daily Dish By Andrew Sullivan (2 years ago)

Ben Zimmer studies up: Yiddish appears to be the ultimate source. I checked with Ben Sadock, a Yiddish expert in New York, and he turned up a tantalizing early example. In the 1928 edition of his Yiddish-English-Hebrew dictionary, A... Read Post


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