Natural exclamation; first recorded mid-16th century.
(tag question, request for repetition, ascertaining continued attention):
(Canada, UK) enPR: ā, IPA(key): /eɪ/
(apathy or lack of enthusiasm, unremarkable):
(UK, US) IPA(key): /ɛ/
(Scotland) IPA(key): /e/
(informal, Britain, Australia, Canada, US)Used as a tag question, to emphasise what goes before or to request that the listener express an opinion about what has been said.
These hot dogs are pretty good, eh?
In isolation, a request for repetition or clarification of what has just been said. Compare what, pardon.
(Canada)An interjection used to ascertain the continued attention of an individual addressed by the speaker
I went to the restaurant, eh, but my friends didn't show up.
Expressing apathy or lack of enthusiasm; meh.
—Do you feel like going out tonight? —Eh, I don't know.
In North America this term is stereotypically associated with Canada and some uses of it outside of Canada can convey that you are trying to sound (sarcastically) Canadian. However, it is in wide use in many other parts of the English-speaking world, including the northern United States, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, South Africa and Nigeria.
eh (third-person singular simple presentehs, present participleehing, simple past and past participleehed)
To use the interjection eh
(informal, predicative only) Of mediocre quality; unremarkable.
My French fries were eh.
Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.
H&E, H.E., HE, He, he, he-
From Proto-Albanian*akˢka, from Proto-Indo-European*h₂eḱ-(“sharp”).
eh (first-person singular past tenseeha, participleehur)
I hone (metal-edged tools)
signifying indifference or surprise
“eh” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
From Middle High Germanē(“earlier, ere”), originally ēr. Modern Standard German uses the lengthened form ehe (only as a conjunction).
(colloquial, Austria) well, admittedly (for which in Germany only schon is used)
indicates indifference, usually used as a reply alone: meh
indicates an obvious mistake: oh, no
From Old Irishé(“he, they”), from Proto-Indo-European*éy. Cognate with Irishé and Scottish Gaelice.
The name of the Latin-script letter E.
his, her, hers, its, third person possessive pronoun
a particle used after names of people when calling them
an interjection signifying understanding
a response used when answering a call in a feast
(Internet slang, text messaging)Alternative form of é(“is”)
(Internet slang, text messaging)Alternative form of é(“yeah”)
gray ground squirrel
Homophones: e, he
hey! (used to call, draw attention, warn or reprehend)
uh, um (space filler in a conversation, expression of hesitation or pause in speech)