Expressions that mean duh

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Mar 27 04:08:05 UTC 2007

At 11:41 PM -0400 3/26/07, Alice Faber wrote:
>Patti Kurtz wrote:
>>Not exactly a dialect question, but a language one.  I'm trying to come
>>up with some different expressions that we use to mean "well, duh"-- in
>>response to a question whose answer is obvious-- for example "Does the
>>sun rise in the east?"  (these are for a novel I'm working on)
>>Is there a name for those?  And can you folks cite some examples?
>I don't know if there's a name for them. But:
>"Is the Pope Catholic?"
>"Does a bear shit in the woods?"
>"Is the sky blue?"

and you can mix and match:

Is the Bear Catholic?
Does a pope...  well, you get the idea.

I liked "Is the Pope Polish?"  But it doesn't work anymore, or at
least its rhetorical force has shifted.


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