ho-hum


uninteresting

TRANSLATION

ho-hum = langweilig, routinemäßig, gelangweilt, soso

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“The best ones evoke the child in the adult and the adult in the child. This is certainly not the case with Back to the Outback: a high jinks-filled but HO-HUM adventure that is more, you could say, a case of bringing out the child within the child.”

Luke Buckmaster - The Guardian (1st December 2021)

“Given its rigid labour rules and HO-HUM growth in recent decades, Europe has not often had to face the problem of having too many jobs. The dramas visible at airports are also unfolding in care homes, hotels and other places that need a lot of unskilled staff.”

Charlemagne - The Economist (7th July 2022)

Did you
know?

ho-hum
informal phrase

adjective

- lacking interest or inspiration; dull; mediocre (a ho-hum movie)

interjection

- a put-down to silence someone who would otherwise not stop talking

Collins English Dictionary

USAGE: Use ho-hum to describe someone (or something) that is so lacking in interest that it causes mental weariness; or as an interjection to indicate how bored you are with a task).


PHRASE ORIGIN

“Ho-hum” as an expression of boredom, was evidenced by 1906, and as an adjective, by 1956. It’s exact origin though, is obscure.


HO-HUM HENRY

Henry Kissinger once recalled that, as a professor, he would go to parties, stand in a corner, and bore the few who would listen to his views on foreign policy. Years later, he was asked if his experiences as Secretary of State had made him a more interesting speaker. “Not really,” he replied, “except now when I go to parties, people wait in line to be bored.” “Now when I bore people”, Kissinger said on another occasion, “they think it’s their fault.”


INTERJECTIONS

Besides ho-hum, some other common interjections are:

ah, aha, bla-bla, boohoo, duh, eh, er, eww, hah, hey hey, hmm, oops, ouch, phooey, shush, tsk, uh, uh-oh, uh-huh, whoops, wow


SYNONYMS

- not interesting or novel
- a put-down to silence someone who would otherwise not stop talking

a dime a dozen, all the same, anaemic, anaesthetised, anodyne, antiseptic, arid, banal, benumbed, big yawn, blah, bland, blending into the background, bloodless, bog-standard, boiler plate, boring, bovine, bromidic, catatonic, cliché-ridden, cobwebby, colourless, comatose, common or garden, commonplace, cornfed, deadening, deadly dull, devoid of feeling, dime-a-dozen, dismal, drab, drear, dreary, dry-as-dust, dull as dishwater, dullsville, fair-to-middling, fish-eyed, flat as pancake, forgettable, fuddy-duddy, garden-variety, glassy-eyed, hackneyed, heavy-going, HO-HUM, homespun, humdrum, inane, in the doldrums, irksome, jejune, joyless, lacking charisma (excitement, interest, vitality, originality, personality, variation), lacklustre, lame, languid, lead balloon, leaden, lifeless, limp, long-drawn-out, long-winded, lustreless, lymphatic, mainstream, mediocre, middle-of-the-road, milk-and-water, Milquetoast, mind-numbing, monochromatic, monochrome, monotone, monotonic, monotonous, moth-eaten, neither one thing nor the other, nobody home, no great shakes, nondescript, not amounting to much, nothing out of the ordinary (special, to get excited about, to write home about), not much cop, not worth mentioning, numbing, off-the-shelf, oft-repeated, old-chestnut, old-hat, old-saw, out of the ark, pallid, par for the course, passé, pedestrian, piddling, plain Jane, plain vanilla, played-out, plodding, ponderous, puts one to sleep, routine, run-of-the-mill, samely, samey, sapless, savourless, second-class, shopworn, sing-song, sleep-inducing, so-so, soporific, soul-destroying, soulless, spiritless, staid, stale, standard-issue, stereotypical, tedious, ten a penny, time-worn, tired, tiring, toneless, torpid, treadmill, turgid, two-dimensional, unimaginative, uninspired, uninteresting, unmemorable, vacuous, vanilla, vapid, warmed-over, watered-down, wearisome, well-worn, white-bread, without punch (spice, variety), workaday, worn, worn-out (thin), yawnsome, zestless


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“The performance was HO-HUM, you didn’t miss anything not going to the show.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

and,

Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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