James Reyes on technology, language and the human experience.

The origins of “meh”


Benn Zimmer in a Boston Globe column discusses the origins of the the dismissive word “meh.”

Yiddish appears to be the ultimate source. I checked with Ben Sadock, a Yiddish expert in New York, and he turned up a tantalizing early example. In the 1928 edition of his Yiddish-English-Hebrew dictionary, Alexander Harkavy included the word meh (written in the corresponding Hebrew letters) and glossed it as an interjection meaning “be it as it may” and an adjective meaning “so-so.”