"moi" (was: MWA! MWA!)

Drew Danielson andrew.danielson at CMU.EDU
Thu Mar 14 18:57:22 UTC 2002

Laurence Horn wrote:
> At 1:19 PM -0500 3/14/02, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:
> >Jim Landau wrote:
> >>
> >>  "Moi" (French for "me") is not in the OED2.  I'll let you submit it, but you
> >>  could probably find an earlier usage than Miss Piggy.
> >
> >Following up a bit late here, but _moi_ will probably be entered in
> >OED3, with a first cite of 1760 and a second cite from 1930.
> >Interdatings or antedatings welcome.
> >
> I know that sometime before Sesame Street, there were those who used
> it in the particular context of a particular sort of query:  "Moi?",
> whose best translation would probably be "Who, me?"  The intention is
> often a kind of semi-ironic or false modesty and there's a
> characteristic intonation I won't try to describe.  (My mother was
> fond of using this particular "moi" for rhetorical effect.)  Are
> there other uses (outside of French)?  It's kind of hard to search
> without getting it in French contexts.
> larry

I am as used to hearing "who, moi?" in this sense as I am (just plain
ol') "moi?"  Maybe searching for the "who.." morph will turn up results?

I tried it in Google with generally relevant results (but nothing worth
anything for dating, so far).  Not finding anything in Lexis-Nexis, but
I am not as familiar....

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