“What ?” “Fire!”. Who has never been the victim of a trap of this type during a family meal? Lately, words of a whole new kind are paving the corridors of high schools and college playgrounds. “Quoicoubeh”, at the top of the list, is a “meme” which is gaining popularity at the start of 2023, after “munyanyo” or even “sheesh” in previous years. It is also written “what koubeh”, “what cou beh”, or “what kou beh”.

The Orthodidactic dictionary defines this expression as “a retort that one throws at someone who says what? or who ends a sentence with the word what. This retort has no meaning, it functions more like a trap that closes on the interlocutor”.

This expression finds its origin on the TikTok account of the Internet user “The Cow”, (@camskolavache; @lachevaspam), who himself traps his entourage all day long with puns of this kind. He challenges friends, passers-by or even other “tiktokeurs” by mumbling something inaudible, so that they answer “what?”, or even “huh?”, “how?”… In these last cases, we answer “captain”, to a “comment”, or even “Apanyae” to a “huh?”.

“The person who replies quoicoubeh has no intention of participating in the discussion, they are just trying to make fun of the situation. Quoicoubeh therefore works in the same way as feur, another replica that has been around since at least the 1980s” , summarizes The orthodidactic dictionary.