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Homer Simpson with his creator, Matt Groening, and Homer's wife, Marge



Listen to Gavin Dudeney

D'oh! Let me just say that again... ready? D'oh! If you're under 30, you're probably picturing a yellow cartoon character called Homer Simpson, right? If you don't know who Homer Simpson is, he's the father of the family. Now imagine him saying 'D'oh!' and picture this situation: Homer has probably injured himself, done something stupid, been caught out doing something stupid or lost out on a good opportunity. D'oh! is an expression that says 'Damn! I'm stupid', or 'Oh, not again!' - the kind of thing you might say when you realise you've done something silly.

D'oh! first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2002, but it was first heard on a 1988 episode of the Tracey Ullman TV show featuring an early version of the Simpsons, with Homer being knocked out by a punching bag. Since then it has become a regular expression used to express frustration, or a sense of inevitable doom. D'oh!

You should be careful not to mix this up with 'duh!', which is valley girl speak (as heard in southern California) for 'everyone knows that' or 'obviously'. You may have seen television characters rolling their eyes in exasperation and exclaiming 'Duh!' when they think someone is being stupid.

So, you might say 'D'oh!' when you've been stupid, and 'Duh!' when you think someone else is being stupid, but then duh!, everyone knows that, right?


download transcriptTranscript (pdf - 30 K)
download lesson planLesson plan - Teacher's notes, student worksheets with answers (pdf - 74 K)
download audioAudio - Gavin Dudeney on "D'oh!" (mp3 - 555 K)
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