To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons — the first episode aired on Dec. 17, 1989 — Oxford Dictionaries turned to author and English professor Michael Adams to examine how Homer & Co. have changed the language, probably more than most of us realized.
After touching upon the contributions like craptacular and embiggening, Adams zeroes in on those ” two small but powerful words, words that aptly capture what it’s meant to be human during the Simpsons decades.” He means, of course, d’oh and meh.
“D’oh expresses the sense that things aren’t going the way that, in one’s humble opinion, they ought to be going,” Adams writes. “For many of us, they aren’t going that way a lot of the time, so d’oh captures an existential frustration.”
While “d’oh” is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, “meh” has yet to find a home there — a slight to which the only appropriate response is, well, meh. That, or “Jeebus!”
“Meh is a perfectly cromulent word,” Adams concludes.
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