10
   

Wah-Wah...

 
 
sozobe
 
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 06:43 am
I've seen this several times now and I don't quite get what it is. It seems to be some sort of a sound effect frequently used when something dramatic/ depressing happens, that people now say as a phrase (like bow chicka bow wow as stripper music).

(Note, this isn't "wah-wah pedal," but something people say to indicate sort of "uh-oh" or "something bad's about to happen.")
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 10 • Views: 5,895 • Replies: 32
No top replies

 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 06:45 am
@sozobe,
Just found this:

Quote:
Wah Wah 26 thumbs up love it hate it

The sound you make when someone says a crappy joke or something stupid. You usually emphasize the last "wah" by dragging it out in a low monotone voice and looking at the person like an idiot.
Douche: Hey, do you know Chuck Norris' blood type?

Non-douche: No.

Douche: Trick question: he doesn't bleed.

Non-douche: Wah Wah.


http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wah+wah

So is it sort of nonplussment + mild disapproval?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 06:50 am
@sozobe,
Sounds rawther like Roger's : "Groan."
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 06:52 am
@dlowan,
It does from that example, but it seems like in other examples it's been more related to drama -- I know I thought that it was maybe some (uncaptioned) sound effect frequently used on reality shows and such, from the context. But dunno!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 06:53 am
@sozobe,
It's the title of a film I saw not so long ago, soz. Just looked up the meaning: Wah wah means "headache" in British slang, apparently.

http://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/archive/Wah-Wah.html
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 07:00 am
@msolga,
Interesting... that seems to be a third meaning (along with wah-wah pedals/ music) rather than the meaning I've been seeing, though...
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 07:57 am
@sozobe,
In my experience, it means more that someone has been cheesy or lame. Like when bad TV shows use sound effects to show people when to laugh.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 08:21 am
@sozobe,
It sounds like you're describing the sound made by a trombone or trumpet, often with a mute (sometimes called a "wah wah mute"), where the first note is followed by a note that is one tone lower. It is found in bad comedies to indicate irony or disappointment.
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 09:03 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

It sounds like you're describing the sound made by a trombone or trumpet, often with a mute (sometimes called a "wah wah mute"), where the first note is followed by a note that is one tone lower. It is found in bad comedies to indicate irony or disappointment.


This is what I was going to say. Imagine that, joefromchicago and I thinking the same. What's next?
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 09:18 am
@sozobe,
I think its a product of television sitcom/sketch comedy writers, something along the lines that would accompany a laugh track.

An audible exclamation to induce the audience to laugh at that particular folly of the character that just made a mistake.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:00 am
@joefromchicago,
This one right?



(from http://www.sadtrombone.com/)
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:03 am
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:20 am
@McGentrix,
McGentrix wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:

It sounds like you're describing the sound made by a trombone or trumpet, often with a mute (sometimes called a "wah wah mute"), where the first note is followed by a note that is one tone lower. It is found in bad comedies to indicate irony or disappointment.


This is what I was going to say. Imagine that, joefromchicago and I thinking the same. What's next?


Obviously the world is coming to an abrupt end.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:22 am
@DrewDad,
I need more description, less sound!

That's right along the lines of what I thought this was -- some sound that everyone recognizes because it's used but not captioned, and then people started saying it (I think I've seen people say it out loud but I've also seen it captioned -- most recently on "Project Runway"). It was that usage -- people saying "wah wah," captioned as the words "wah wah" -- that got me wondering what the reference was.

This (descriptions + comments) is helping though, thanks!
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:33 am
@sozobe,
Joe is correct in his description of the sound being from a brass instrument using a mute. The mute changes the timbre of the sound, and the the mute is removed during the note, so that the note starts muted then becomes normal timbre. Two notes are played, the second note of a slightly lower pitch, thus "wah wah".

It is used much like a rimshot. It indicates something dumb, sad or ironic, rather than something funny. (I've rethought my original description of its usage.)
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:43 am
@DrewDad,
"Who wants cake?"

"Not me, America's experiencing a virtual epidemic of juvenile diabetes."

Wah-wah.




"Let's open presents! Wow, the complete movie guide, thanks!"

"I haven't been able to read a movie review since the untimely passing of Gene Siskel."

Wah-wah.



"Who wants to go fishing on Saturday?"

"Count me out; my doctor says my mercury levels could reach toxic proportions."

Wah-wah.


0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:49 am
@DrewDad,
Awesome, thanks. I'm definitely getting a clearer picture. (Your subsequent examples helped too.)

What I can't figure out yet -- what kinds of shows is the trombone (as opposed to spoken) "wah wah" used on? Was it sincere at one point (a spur to audience laughter) and then became ironic on more recent shows? Anyone know when it made the transition to a spoken expression?

0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:51 am
@DrewDad,
Looks like Debbie Downer could have a lot to do with this:

Quote:
The first appearance of Debbie Downer was on May 1, 2004 with guest host Lindsay Lohan. Debbie and five family members are eating breakfast at a restaurant in Walt Disney World. While the family makes small talk, Debbie makes negative comments on current events followed by a knowing look at the camera and a cartoonish "wah-wah" sound made by a muted trombone.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debbie_Downer
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:52 am
@sozobe,
Does Hulu not do closed captions? How very irritating.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 10:53 am
@sozobe,
I believe so.

Can't find any clips online that have captioning, though.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

There is a word for that! - Discussion by wandeljw
Best Euphemism for death and dying.... - Discussion by tsarstepan
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Question by lululucy
phrase/name of male seducer - Question by Zah03
Shameful sexist languge must be banned! - Question by neologist
Three Word Phrase I REALLY Hate to See - Discussion by hawkeye10
Is History an art or a science? - Question by Olivier5
"Rooms" in a cave - Question by shua
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Wah-Wah...
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 09/19/2021 at 07:31:22