I use that a million times a day, too.
I may need to have my hearing checked…
I’m guessing its not invented, but a general response of human instinct, which, knowing Chinese and Japanese as well, and checked some translation sites + wiktionary’s translations, it seems like a lot of languages gives similar if not the same pronouncing word for the same expression.
So, shake your own hand, as long as you are a human being, you are a part of who invented this word. ;9
Hä? (that’s German for huh. What else is out there?)
Hi-een? (Urdu… it’s kind of hard to transliterate)
In Japanese, etsu?
So fonzi was from French?
Ay is not French…
In French we say “Hein?” (pronouced /ɛ̃/ )
I looked up /ɛ̃/, because I have no idea how to pronounce that, landed on a page about nasal vowels, which used the word “Huh” as an example. I call that a win.
“Öhm” is also a great word in German for “Huh?” (can be shortened to Öh, instead of “Äh” you can also say “Ähm”).
Eih?! *straightens collar*
Italian. Mostly asked after, “You talkin’ to me?”
Lol The Dude bug 😀
Glad I’m not the only one that instantly recognized him. But he needs a rug…to tie the whole panel together, you know?
I was wondering if anyone would catch that.
I like the addition of “Wait. What?” to the lexicon.
In meetings they can tell they’ve lost me by the snores.
I’m surprised to see the Oxford actually lists this – “exclamation used to express scorn, anger, disbelief, surprise, or amusement”.
Unfortunately, Adam will need a time machine again because this “natural utterance” came into the English language in the 17th century. On the plus side, him arriving in 17th century England is going to make a lot of the locals (er, temporals) go “huh”. Yaaaaay!
Scorn, anger, disbelief, surprise, or amusement. That covers most of the bases.
I bet you didn’t know that “Huh” is a corporation with its own Twitter account! And apparently at Huh Corp, they “do stuff”.
And the follow-up “duh–you’re not smart.” Greg Smith really went to town creating these sites.
If Bug had said “I ain’t got time for that” in the last panel, he’d be right with one of the current memed catchphrases.
Actually, anthropologists believe that the words “um”, “uh”, “ah” “AAAAAH!” “hahaha” and yes, “huh” are all universal words, used as filler in conversation to indicate that you’re either not done talking, or some other primal function(in the case of screams and laughter, it’s the other functions…).
The only language that doesn’t use “um” is icelandic, which instead uses a word that translates roughly to “this”.
To get to the point: lucky for you, everyone invented “huh” and if nobody ever had, you would’ve, completely by accident.
So, you know, shake your own hand.
Different languages even have different “um”s. Japanese has “ano…”, apparently because a lot of words/phrases begin that way.
Biero go tabemasta! Ano,,, biero wa doko deska?
Because of my hearing impairment, my end of the conversation is often, “I’m sorry?”
“Say what?” is also another classic.
“Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” not so much…
By using the response in the third panel you could make them utter the Huh word and maybe derail their train of thought.
Were it not for “Huh?” we would all be doing that “Scooby Doo” noise like Tim (The Toolman) Taylor.
Interestingly, there was just a piece of research done on this:
I got here via Language Log, where somebody posted this cartoon. This has me highly intrigued. The PLOS ONE study appeared only yesterday. Is this a total coincidence (which would be amazing), or did you somehow have access to the embargoed press materials we’ve been circulating? (MD, first author on the study).
Anyway, I’m with the others here: shake your own hand, it’s a uniquely human word that all languages have in similar form and function due to convergent evolution (it’s not an inborn reflex, by the way, we argue in our study).
Total coincidence. I think this is like the third time I’ve written a strip and then an article about the very same thing comes out a day or so later.
Jezebel totally ripped you off!!! Your comic is way more amazing than anything they write though.
Ha-ha! I saw that. I don’t think they ripped me off. Pretty sure it’s just coincidence.
Pretty much every culture came up with “huh” on its own. It’s pretty much a universal sound of confusion.
Why does your comic keep sending me to http://www.aliexpress.com/premium/sex-toys.html?src=nb&af=nb_292732&tp1=74627637&cn=%7Bsite%7D&isdl=y&alpsm=true ?
No other websites are doing it. Just this one. I am so confused.
You’re not the first person to tell me that. Sorry about that. I think a new ad service I got isn’t playing nicely. I’ll look into it.
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