Expressions that mean duh

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Mar 27 13:21:35 UTC 2007

On 3/27/07, Charles Doyle <cdoyle at> wrote:
> What language scholars sometimes call "pope questions" paremiologists and
> other folklorists (unbeknownst to the language scholars) have been calling
> "sarcastic interrogatives" since the 1970s. (Incidentally, in an article
> forthcoming in _Western Folklore_ I discuss the genre at tedious length.)
> However, "duh" retorts are a little different.  For one thing, what triggers them
> is not necessarily a question. ("The sun rises in the east."/"Duh!"). In fact, I'd
> say that "Duh!" most often responds to an ASSERTION of something that's
> obvious. In those cases, Jim Parish's "Ya think?" and William Salmon's "No
> shit, Sherlock!" would serve well. But I don't know a term for the larger category.

How about "rejoin-duh"?

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list