Query: "thoo"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Nov 27 03:13:02 UTC 2001

At 7:45 AM -0600 11/27/01, thomas e murray wrote:
>A student has asked if I've ever heard the word "thoo" (I'm guessing at
>the spelling, but the first sound is a voiceless interdental fricative
>and the second a high, back, tense vowel) to mean something like 'of
>inferior quality' or 'a bit below par.'  The student heard it used in the
>following sentences:
>He's had one too many; he's just a little thoo.
>_Great Expectations_ is thoo compared to _Bleakhouse_.
>Both sentences were produced by college-aged African American males in
>the context of a pseudo-intellectual literary discussion.
>Has anyone heard this before, or provide any further information on the
No, but there's "thew" meaning strength or force, which would seem to
be the opposite--it is clear that Great Expectations is being
compared UNfavorably here to Bleak House?  I haven't been able to
track down any instances of "thue", "thew", or "thoo" as adjectives
in the above sense (either in dictionaries or web searches).


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