Nope

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8 comments on this post.
  1. D:

    Wow, awesome site. You blow the etymology dictionary out of tue water!!

  2. Jeff:

    I have no quarrel with your etymology of ‘nope’, but would offer the following thought as a light snack. The Norwegian adverb ‘neppe’ translates into English as ‘hardly’. The word detective in me has me wondering if nope and neppe might share some common history – in one direction or the other. My guess is that a lot of usages we perceive as haimg American origins might actually have roots in other European languages. Anyway, that’s my two cents worth. : )

  3. Phoenix Angelfire:

    I would have guessed that the word depending on its time frame might have been a contraction for “no hope” or alternatively “no you dope.”

  4. RonB:

    Phoenix-makes sense

  5. Jim:

    I would have guessed that if it didn’t come from a translation from another language, that is was created as a way to add clarity to the word when used across a distance, or in radio communications.

    “No” is soft, and indestinct in sound and meaning. In a garbled radio transmission, it could be “No”. Or it could be part of word that’s been cut off, like “nothing” or “ignorant”, or a similar word with different meaning “know”. Adding the “p” at the end brings clarity and completeness to its meaning.

    But that’s probably why most radio operators and military-style communications use the less ambiguous “negative” instead of “no”.

  6. Yogi:

    I think ‘Nope’ is derived from phrase, ‘No Hope’

    Ex. Will you marry me?

    Ans. ‘No Hope’..

    Now try to read it with pace…NoHope >> NoPE >> Nope.

    This is what came in my tiny little mind. It sounds funny but I think that’s how words are made over history.

  7. Another Jim:

    Biggest problems with this scenario is that the word “nope” came into use before radio was invented. And just try yelling the word “nope.” The “p” sound just doesn’t carry.

  8. Lynne:

    What about the currently popular “NOPE” applied to events/sports in the Winter Olympics? I’ve seen articles describing particular sports as “NOPE sports” or “NOPE events” but have not been able to find anything explaining what that means.
    As an etymologist (and former syndicated columnist on the topic), I enjoy and appreciate your site.

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