Uh-huh. What is that? ‘Thanks very much,’ you say ‘Uh- huh,’ comes back the response.
You haven’t had it? Then you’ve have never been to the wonderful country that Borat calls U S and A. Because when in America you say, ‘There you go’ or ‘After you’ they will give you a uh-huh. It seems to me to mean -that I have recognised your kind gesture and recognise that many men such as yourself wouldn’t dream of holding that door open for me and I’d love to say all those things to you but I really cannae be arsed so I’ll just say…..uh-huh.
I love America…..the places, people and the music (could take a different president or two but in time they’ll go) but I have never got the uh-huh. I can see where it comes from but it belongs in the same recycle pile as the expression….’you’ve got an accent!’ You don’t know that one? Oh that will happen too my friend. You engage with one of the many lovely locals and you give your consonants an exrta rasp or use a little Scottish patois and they will stand back in shocked excitement and exclaim, “YOU’VE GOT AN ACCENT!” – Yes, yes I do and believe it or not there are millions of them out there. And what’s more, if you think I sound daft, wait till you meet my cousin who lives in Peterculter. (actually I don’t have any cousins in Peterculter but they’re not to know that.)
Having said all this the reason I’m on top of the uh-huh is that I was on a plane from Italy back to old Jocko land yesterday and as I said thank you to the geezer beside me for letting me past me and he quietly said…uh-huh. This guy wasn’t American – I don’t believe he looked Canadian either (whatever that might be). I think he was one of our European brothers and sisters and there he was, brazen as you like, boldly uh-huhing with the best of them. I tell you friends….and especially you US bloggers….let’s nip this in the bud. The huh stops here.
I have to say that, on the whole, I enjoy the vagaries and dialects with which language develops. With the great migrations of the past, as in the very birth of the United States, this has led to whole new subsets of languages, whereas today it’s moving towards more of a global melting pot.
I don’t want to be all elitist about it as it’s at the grass roots that language evolves, not in dusty university libraries, but “uh-huh” does sound a little vague and lazy at best. Stephen Fry once railed against the so-called “Buffy speak” that gave us phrases like this (although I think in truth that show was superbly written and simply mirrored the slang of American youth rather well). Above all, though, we should all say what we really mean more of the time; I’m sure then life would be easier.
Actually, it’s funny you should bring up both Scottish and American inflections and phrases. In my spare time I’m something of an aspiring writer, and recently I’ve been advising my partner-in-crime over in the States as to how to — realistically, sparingly and fondly, I might add — edit the dialogue of his latest protaganist // hero creation, a seasoned Scot who now lives and works in the USA. Any and all suggestions would be welcome!
Then again, do we perhaps owe “uh-huh” to The King himself? If so, then I think I can abide it given the rest of his legacy.
I started to take offense (NOT misspelled), but then I realized you’re just expressing a pet peeve. You are making a generalization, though. Not all Americans are guilty of the uh-huh. And surely you can’t blame us for being charmed with British/Scottish accents – we never tire of hearing them. My Latin professor of three years is from Ireland, and I still adore hearing her speak.
No! No! No!
No excuse for an “uh-huh” but laziness and it is really a way of trying to ignore someone. Unless, of course, the “uh-huher” is smiling and looking at you and then assume they have been thunderstruck by your presence.
Accents……unfortunately most of us over here on this side of the pond forget that we have dialects and colloquialisms that fellow Americans don’t understand. This can best be seen in the — can’t think of a thing that intelligently describes what our current Commander in Chief speaks.\
I will work on it……..
By the way this is perfect music for those of us who are enduring 107 temps and waiting for news to break………anywhere………otherwise we will follow the tradition of inventing something……
I think we need a photo of Nancy and her work colleagues on the late lounge site
Not Uh-huh , But Accents
I used to take a few holidays who catered for the single person and found that most of those travellers using these companys where working in the city and where southerners.
Coming from the northwest of Cumbria, we have an amazing accent with a wee bit of scottish, Some Geordie with a hint of irish thrown in for good measure and for some people we are very hard to understand and found that the southerners can be a little rude about northern accents.
My point is, there are some really good accents in the UK and people should maybe take the time to Listen and understand.
Scottish accents are a real Gem, if your in Dumfries you find the Accent a lot deeper than the glasgow Accent.
Life would be so boring if we all spoke the queens lingo 😉
Welcome to my world. I’m originally from the US but have lived in Glasgow for four years. My accent and speech patterns are now located somewhere over the Titanic. My vowels are getting peculiarly long and one-syllable words now have two. I use both east of US and west of Scotland vernacular in the same sentence. It’s not something I’m doing on purpose or to be pretentious, it’s just the natural progression which your speech would take after four years no matter where you lived. But if my accent tips too much into Scottish, people criticise me for trying to be Scottish. If my accent tips too far back into American, people criticise me for sounding too American. I can’t win!
i know what you mean!
i have kids who pick up such horrid stuff.
in my part of the country uh huh means yes but only cause i’am telling lies.
have you done your homework? uh huh
i live in a house where i am now convinced the inhabitants under 16. now speak a different language.
i hear duh from homer i’am told.
and an absolute load of abreviations taken from the mobile revolution.
i almost wet myself with laughter as i listen to my ofspring talking to their pals.
it is like an alien invasion.
when i try to correct them it’s like i’am an old git.
i onley hope this wares off and normal service resumes. the queens english would be a great start.