No vs. nope

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Mar 11 01:39:44 UTC 2013

On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 9:15 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
> On Mar 10, 2013, at 7:07 PM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>> On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 5:06 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>>> Why Do People Use Nope
>> "… the glottal stop. Some object to the idea, though the comments on
>> the language log post confirmed a glotalized p."
>> Many dekkids ago, perhaps as far back as the late '40's, I read a
>> couple of sentences by an Englishman WRT _yep, nope_. The author
>> described them as peculiarities of American English characterised
>> <har! har!> by termination in a glottal stop, faut de mieux,
>> represented by  _-pe_ in the orthography.
> There's more recent stuff by Nigel Ward (another Englishman, if memory
> serves), a paper  on grunts that I read back when I was trying to figure
> out what's going on with "uh-huh",  "unh-unh" & Co.  He's actually written
> a bunch of stuff that may be relevant to "yep" and "nope":
>  There's also a classic paper of
> Bolinger's on the subject in American Speech, but maybe someone
> mentioned that earlier.

A few months ago there was a piece on Slate (that is, a piece actually
written for Slate, as opposed to the Quora regurgitation posted above)
about "welp" (for "well") as the latest instantiation of the
"yep"/"nope" phenomenon. The writer consulted with Jesse Sheidlower,
Grant Barrett, Lauren Ackerman, and me, and included a bit on the
Bolinger paper:


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list