What's the quick gasping noise that Danes make while conversing?
December 29, 2006 4:33 AM Subscribe
When talking, Danes sometimes make a quick gasping noise that's very distinctive but difficult to describe. Can anyone explain this odd habit? Does it have a name? (More details inside.)
posted by Ø to Writing & Language (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Danes do this when speaking English also; it doesn't seem to be limited to Danish-language conversation.
If you have a DVD of the Danish film "Italian for Beginners," there's a perfect example 12 minutes 20 seconds in. The woman makes the noise right after saying "Jørgen Mortensen."
As far as I can tell it seems sometimes to serve as a verbal nod of sorts, the equivalent of an American saying "yeah" occasionally to let you know that he's paying attention to what you're saying. Other times it seems to serve as a kind of verbal punctuation, emphasizing what the gasper has just said.
Please comment if you know anything at all about this.