signifyingdrugs asked: Is there a difference in the groups of people or the settings in which the various forms of bruh are used? If so, please enlighten me.
You’ve called my bluff! I can’t say I’ve researched the geographical distribution of different spellings of bro pop-vs-soda style, though that is a fantastic idea. Brehconomics is an emerging field, and as such, I’m constantly encountering new areas to research. So thanks for this.
In general, I’d say that the creative spellings and pronunciations of “bro” originated in the Bay Area, but there’s obvious observation bias at work here. People have been saying “bruh” for a long time, right? But I suspect it was in the Bay Area that “breh” first became an acceptable, or even celebrated, spelling.
Considering “breh” is hardly even pronounced differently from “bruh,” I’ve always wondered if this didn’t sort of work in tandem with the rise of Twitter and Myspace and Facebook. Maybe people were writing these things out in entertaining fashion, and that came to influence how it was pronounced, leading to a reinforcing feedback loop of sorts. Pure speculation, of course.
What I can tell you is that the difference between “bruh” “breh” and “bryh” is all in the length of the vowel, which is what linguists call the “schwa sound”. The way I hear it, the spectrum runs from “bruh” on the long end to “brih/bryh” on the shorter end, and as the schwa gets shorter, the more intimidating the word becomes.
Listen to DB the General’s monologue in this video (starts at around 2:43) and you can hear him work himself up from “bruh” to “breh” as he gets more excited. He also clocks the most brehs-per-minute I’ve ever seen.