Meh is the ultimate expression of boredom and disinterest. Phonetically, it's one of the easiest sounds we can make, involving a simple parting of the lips and expulsion of air through the mouth and nose. With that in mind, it seems like a word that's been around for a while and has changed very little throughout history. However, there's a lot more to meh than meets the eye. It turns out that the term has only been around in pop culture since 1991, when Lisa from The Simpsons used it and spelled it out the episode "Homer's Triple Bypass". Prior to that, there were a few scattered attestations, but that moment really tipped the scales. Some etymologists theorize that meh further derives from Yiddish mnyeh, which served a similar puropse, but beyond that not much is known. The word meh has been increasing in usage since the 1940s.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.