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Origin of yuck
Words nearby yuck
What does yuck mean?
Yuck is an informal word you say when you think something is gross or disgusting.
It’s an interjection, which is a term used to express an emotion or indicate how you feel about something, typically outside of a sentence.
Yuck is primarily used to indicate that you think a food is particularly disgusting or unappetizing. It can be used upon actually tasting something or simply upon looking at it, smelling, or maybe even feeling it—you might say yuck if something feels slimy, for example.
Yuck is also sometimes used to express disgust about other things, such as something filthy or unpleasant weather, as in It’s so hot and sticky outside. Yuck.
The adjective yucky is based on yuck and means gross, disgusting, or unappetizing. Yucky is associated with its use by children and is often thought of as a childish term. (While yuck is often used by children, especially those refusing to eat their vegetables, it’s commonly used in many ways that don’t sound childish.) Yuck is sometimes used in an even more informal way to mean about the same thing as yucky, as in My day was just yuck.
The word yum can be thought of as the opposite of yuck, especially in response to food. Yum is an interjection used to indicate that you think something is delicious or looks appetizing. Like yuck, it can also be used in contexts other than food, such as to express that something is appealing.
An even more informal variant of yuck is yucko, which can be used both as an interjection and an adjective.
Yuck is sometimes used as an alternate spelling of the term yuk, which can be a noun meaning a loud laugh or a verb meaning to laugh or joke. (The spelling yuk can also be used as a variant of the interjection yuck.)
Example: Broccoli? Yuck! I’d rather eat my own socks.
Where does yuck come from?
The first written records of the interjection yuck come from around the 1960s, but expressions that sound like it have certainly been used for much longer. Expressive words like yuck (and ew, which is first recorded around the same time) are formed in imitation of the sounds people make in reaction to things. Yuck is thought to have originated in the U.S., at least in print.
Yuck is most closely associated with yucky foods, but it can be used in all kinds of contexts. You could say yuck when you yourself are feeling sick, as in Yuck, I hate feeling like this. You could say yuck in response to stepping in something gross, or seeing the inside of a filthy dumpster, or smelling someone’s burp (I know—yuck!). Yuck can also be used in other less traditional ways, such as to indicate disgust at the prospect of doing something you don’t want to do, as in I have to spend the whole weekend studying. Yuck. It can also be used in situations in which you encounter something that you want to jokingly say is nauseating, like a public display of affection that’s too public or too affectionate.
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How is yuck used in real life?
Yuck is very informal. It’s especially used to express disgust over particular foods.
Protein shakes are the worst thing ever created. Yuck!
— hehe (@kimayadent) August 8, 2020
Cafeteria options include meatloaf (yuck), chicken in a mushroom sauce (double yuck), and Brussels sprouts (supreme yuck). Sammich Day.
— staciespy (@staciespy) March 3, 2011
The humidity is almost at 80%. Yuck.
— 🍁🍍 (@ananashaus) August 8, 2020
Try using yuck!
Is yuck used correctly in the following sentence?
Oh, yuck, this yogurt expired seven years ago.
Example sentences from the Web for yuck
Taylor Swift saw Selena Gomez kissing Bieber backstage at an awards show, and made a very obvious “yuck” face.
Which gets back to the distinct yuck factor about this particular study.
Moving on past the yuck factor, you may wonder whether drinking blood might cause some indigestion.‘Dark Shadows’ Returns: A User’s Guide to Drinking Blood|Kent Sepkowitz|May 11, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Just to add to the yuck factor, his wife worked in the same office.A Flood of Harassment Horror Stories After the Herman Cain Allegations|Lauren Ashburn|November 11, 2011|DAILY BEAST
That was the era of airy elegance and feeble clown shows, of yuck-yuck punchlines and toothy performers saying "Gee whiz!"