victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 18 21:23:12 UTC 2011

I thought there were several slight variations on this. On can be
represented by "Oh, YEAH?" with a significant rise toward the
end--ostensibly close to the original meaning, somewhat like "Are you sure
about that?", but stronger, with sarcastic notes. Another--I presume the one
under discussion--is similar to "Are you kiddin' me?" In this sense, it can
also be said flat or a strongly rising question or, in a particularly
mocking variant, with a strong stress initially and tapering off. The
closest synonym would be "Seriously?", marked similarly. But I've distinctly
heard all three versions--rising, falling and flat.


On Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 5:07 PM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET>
> Subject:      Re: Really?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've been wondering about this use of "really?" too, but of course Googling
> it would produce way too much to sort through for the true positives. Same
> goes for "seriously?" in identical contexts and with identical intonations.
> My son uses that one a lot, and it's starting to get on my nerves!
> Neal

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