Boh! What does boh mean? Boh!

Answering “boh” (Who knows, dunno) to a question usually expresses doubt, indifference, uncertainty or reticence.  

A few examples:

“Boh! che ne saccio?”(Boh ! what do I know?)

“Boh! non ho idea.” (Boh! I have no idea?). 

“Cosa sarà successo?” “Boh!”. (What happened? Boh!)

“Com’è andata?” “Boh!” (How did it go? Boh!).

The Corriere Della Sera dictionary dates it back to circa 1840; yet, some argue that “boh”, as an indicator of dubiousness, could be one of world’s oldest words alongside “eh?” (??!!)

Other comparable Italian classics include:

“mbeh” (so … ?)  

“eh” (what’s up?)

“uffa” (not again!)

A brief quote to conclude:

“Boh, frase piena di significato, con un significato incredibile, pieno di intelligenza in cui convivono modernità e tradizione per non parlare dell’utilizzo sul piano pratico e teorico”

Pier Paolo Pasolini

“Boh, sentence filled with meaning, with an incredible implication, full of wit in which modernity and tradition cohabit not to mention its practical and theoretical uses.

Pier Paolo Pasolini


written by Gabriel Riel-Salvatore