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The difference between huh and uh

“huh” and “uh” are often confused. Let’s take a look at these two words from dictionary.com:

huh

used as an exclamation of surprise, bewilderment, disbelief, contempt, or interrogation.

uh

used to indicate hesitation, doubt, or a pause.

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It’s too bad that they totally bashed up the definition of huh. It should totally be broken out into different numbers. Here’s my stab:

huh

1) used as exclamation of interest. i.e. “huh, that is really interesting!”

2) used as exclamation of interrogation. i.e. “what were you doing on the night of the sixth…huh!?”

uh

1) used to indicate hesitation or pause. i.e. “uh, i can’t make this decision right now.”

2) used as expressoin of disbelief. i.e. “uh, are you sure about this?”

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Now “huh” and “uh” shouldn’t be confused with uh-huh, uh-oh, unh-unh, um, um-hum, ur, ur-uh, umph. Click the comments below to view their definitions.
uh-oh

1) used to indicate concern or chagrin at a mildly unfortunate event

uh-uh

used to indicate disagreement, disapproval, or dissatisfaction

um

used as an expression of doubt, hesitation, deliberation, interest, etc.

umpf

used to indicate disbelief, contempt, etc.

uh-huh

1) used to indicate agreement, confirmation, attentiveness, or general satisfaction i.e. “uh-huh, you got the right one, baby!”

My definition of uh-huh:

1) used to show disbelief in sarcastic way. i.e. “uh-huh, like you REALLY got this right.”

One Response to The difference between huh and uh

  1. Matt Maldre September 12, 2017 at 11:40 am #

    Ten years later, I’m re-reading my own blog post, and I’m left thinking, “uh… huh”

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