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Re: Yuck

Posted by Smokey Stover on January 23, 2010 at 17:38

In Reply to: Yuck posted by Mike on January 22, 2010 at 10:06:

: I am looking for the orgin of such phrases as; Yucking it up. Yuck, yuck, yuck as used in cartton and comics.

You may be talking about slightly differing uses of yuck (or yuk). The Oxford English Dictionary has a few quite different uses of yuck, one of them being a dope, another being to vomit, or something disgusting enough to provoke vomit. There is also:

s.v. yuck. "a. To fool around; to act so as to cause laughter. b. To laugh. Also to yuck it up. . . .

Hence yuck n.3, a laugh."
The OED describes these uses, which seem to have begun in the 1960s, as slang, principally U.S., origin unknown.

If I understand correctly your use of "yuck, yuck, yuck as used in cartoons and comics," the phrase is voiced as a kind of chuckle. I think it is possible that the "yuk yuk yuk," which in my experience tends to be sort of gurgled, is meant to represent the way some people actually DO chuckle, or produce a kind of choking, sotto voce, giggle. That would make it of onomatopoeic origin. However, I think that that variety of "yuk yuk yuk" is hardly ever heard nowadays--on which point I may be entirely wrong. (I rarely see cartoons or stand-up comics.)