I suppose it means I totally agree with you and you totally agree with me but it sounds like there is a subtle Is that okay? at the end with the right part.

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What do you think?



Slightly OT, but it reminds me of the similar (but not identical) Canadian couchsurfingcook.com phrase:

That"s cool, eh?

It"s a sentence softener... and a way to get general acceptance from the person you are speaking with.

Anyway, best described with an example:

girl 1: That"s girl"s outfit is SO ugly!

girl 2: OMG, how does she even live with herself?

girl 1: I know, right? She is SOooo uncool.

"I know" can be a strong statement, so adding the question "right?" is a way of getting general acceptance from the other person.


I would say that it doesn"t signify is that okay? so much as tell me more.

It also suggests empathy in addition to agreement. To me, it seems roughly equivalent to I totally agree with you, you know? In addition to sharing the opinion, it also subtly connotes that both parties arrived at the same conclusion, possibly in the same way.

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It seems to me that "right?" is a way of creating a bond between the two people talking. I usually hear it in the context of sharing some fact that you wouldn"t tell someone to his/her face, e.g. "How does she even live with herself?" from Atomix"s example. It"s like saying, "Right? We share this idea and therefore we are similar and should be friends."

I visited because I"m using the phrase myself and have been doing so for about a year. I moved to NYC about three years ago, and I"m wondering where this particular phrase came from in my vocabulary. I really like it. For me, it does indicate collusion ("I know") and a request that the collusion be validated ("right?"). However, I believe the expectation of validation is already implied because the rising action of "right?" is generally very subtle and casual on my part. I"m expecting the person to already validate my attempt at collusion.

The phrase also seems chummy, a way of saying in shorthand, "I agree with you completely and therefore we are kindred spirits." I usually say it almost as a bestowal of praise upon the other person, as if to say, "What a wonderful person I have found who validates my existence so completely with their similar thoughts on things that I had not expected people to think similarly about. What a pleasant surprise!" Anyway, those are just my thoughts. It probably did become abundant because of television, but it definitely seeems like something that would arise in either the Midwest, Deep South, or California (all of which I have ties to) because of a need in those areas to validate community over individuality and that I would feel more compelled to use in the Northeast, where I might feel isolated and want to frequently make references to ways that I might bond or fit in with others in my community.