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The spelling of Popeye's laugh
January 18, 2011 2:38 PM   Subscribe

How do you spell Popeye's laugh?

Is there a specific way of writing Popeye's laugh that goes beyond 'ahahaha' (which doesn't really do it justice)? Anything official in scripts or reference books? Does anybody have a style guide on this thing? Any phonetics experts want to have a go?

Some reference material.
posted by flashboy to Writing & Language (19 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
AAAHuuUUH GUhGuhGuhGuh
posted by Mister_A at 2:40 PM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Arf! Arf!
posted by mazola at 2:42 PM on January 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ah ga ga ga ga ga ga.
posted by fixedgear at 2:43 PM on January 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


uk uk uk uk uk uk uk
posted by chaff at 2:45 PM on January 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sounds like [həkəkəkəkə] to me if you want the IPA for it. Popeye's also got hella creaky voice going on, but his laugh sounds less creaky-voiced than his spoken dialogue.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:49 PM on January 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


"A-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah-gah!"
posted by KogeLiz at 2:54 PM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seconding mazola -- it was arf arf in the comics.
posted by vorfeed at 3:18 PM on January 18, 2011


More arf.
posted by mazola at 3:23 PM on January 18, 2011


Ug ug ug ug ug ug ug!
posted by cropshy at 3:27 PM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel that "ugugugug" is a more faithful lay rendering than "agagagag"—the vowel seems lower to me than I'd read those "ag" strings. Certainly a back vowel in any case.

Likewise, I like "ug" better than "uk" because I can't help but hear that plosive in there as voiced; stringing voiceless stops together with the voice vowel would be hard work.

So if I had to take a shot at IPA, I'd suggest "ʌg" or "ɤg", a closed-mid or open-mid back unrounded vowel somewhat like a schwa ("ə", your classic slack "uh" sound) but yanked farther back into the throat, followed by a voiced velar plosive.

There's probably an argument to make here that the onset's a slightly different sound; some of the google results for "popeye ug ug ug ug" start with "Ag-ug-ug..." or even "Arrg ug ug ug". The laugh seems to fall in pitch over time in general, though, and I might be reading a shift in the initial vowel into that.
posted by cortex at 3:44 PM on January 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


auk-auk-auk...
posted by Sys Rq at 3:57 PM on January 18, 2011


Alternatively, [sound of failed attempt to pull-start an outboard motor].
posted by Sys Rq at 4:01 PM on January 18, 2011


yuk yuk yuk
posted by milestogo at 4:12 PM on January 18, 2011


ark ark ark ark ark ark
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:34 PM on January 18, 2011


kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk-kuh!
posted by BostonTerrier at 5:48 PM on January 18, 2011


Ha gukgukgugkgukgah!
posted by santaslittlehelper at 5:59 PM on January 18, 2011


I'd write "Hukukukukuk."

How does he laugh in the original strip? That's the real answer. If he did laugh, that is.
posted by cmoj at 6:03 PM on January 18, 2011


I've always brainspelled it ock ock ock ock ock ock ock ock ock.
posted by Askr at 6:43 PM on January 18, 2011


I think Mister_A has the correct pronunsciation.
posted by sourwookie at 7:58 PM on January 18, 2011


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