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As Mayor Pete Buttigieg has risen in 2020 polls, he’s faced greater scrutiny: Had he been discreetly calling Black people homophobic? Is he secretly a fan of the Tea Party? Is his campaign dance some form of demonic indoctrination?
And why in the world does he always tweet “Buh”?
Buttigieg’s response to things that confuse or bother him on Twitter? Often, a well-timed “Buh.”
Trump announces a Muslim ban?
Buh? The vetting takes 18-24 months. At the very least, you had enough time to not surprise your own Secretary of Homeland Security... https://t.co/7CNHRuo5Ay— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 30, 2017
Criticism that he might oppose the Second Amendment?
Criticism that he might support the Second Amendment?
Buh? At a dataset level the correlation is unbelievably strong: https://t.co/zGqOcDdwv8— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) May 26, 2018
People leaving South Bend, Indiana?
Buh? South Bend is at fastest population growth rate in quarter century. Unemployment is below US rate, and crime around half 1990s levels.— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) June 29, 2017
Casually watching cable news?
Something about doing Casey’s show?
A big buh.
Buh? I’ve been on Casey’s show and happy to do it again— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) August 28, 2018
And the doozy that started it all, during last week’s argument over where he stands on Medicare for All.
Buh? He’s never been against it.
Buh? When/where have you ever heard me oppose Medicare for All?— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 17, 2018
According to Urban Dictionary, the meaning of buh boils down to “a question, not unlike meh” that’s manifested verbally as “a simple grunting noise made to substitute the use of any word that makes sense.”
As in: “Where shall we go?”
I like to imagine Buttigieg trying to straddle the line between a somewhat bellicose “Bro” when confronted online, but watering down in a Midwestern, deferential way, such that whoever he’s posing it to could also interpret it as Buttigieg politely asking “Huh?”
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David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]