I Hardly Know Her – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to make yourself look funny to other people? Maybe you want to break the seriousness of a conversation with a lighthearted gag? If that’s the case, you can use the expression, “I hardly know her.”

If someone says, “we’re going to place a wager on this football game,” you could reply with “wag her, I hardly know her!” It’s a joke that some people might understand, while others might find it somewhat “cringey” to use.

I Hardly Know Her Meaning

I hardly know her” is a popular cultural phrase or retort to someone that’s talking to you when they say something of low relevance in your life that you want to ridicule. The term has sexual overtones, and it’s similar to the other idiomatic expression, “That’s what she said.” Both phrases refer to people, male or female, and sexual interactions between them or flirtatious behavior.

Most of the time, the person replying with the retort will be making a joke to impress the other people in the conversation. It’s also a great way to create a break in the flow of the conversation, leading into a Segway on another topic.

The goal of using the phrase is to find words ending in the letters “er” and then match the word with the same sound and “her.” Interestingly enough, only a few words in the English language finish in “er,” while still making sense when used to personify the word.

There are also some surprising “rules” to using the phrase. Generally, people frown on using words like “Taller” or “Baker,” as they are too easy to use and not innovative language suitable for the joke. Sometimes, it’s suitable to use words that end in “re,” like “creature.”

I Hardly Know Her Example Usage

Friend: “I broke your window wiper.”

You: “Wiper her? I hardly know her!”

Friend: “Please turn on the heater.”

You: “Heat her? I hardly know her!”

Friend: “That person is the messiest eater I’ve ever seen.”

You: “Eat her? I hardly know her!”

I Hardly Know Her Origin

The joke comes from 90s TV culture and movies, but language experts are not sure of the exact origin of the phrase. However, it was a standing line in the hit comedy show “The Office.”

The character of Michael would often interrupt his colleague’s presentations or requests with “I hardly know her.” The joke became popular on the show, featuring in several episodes.

The first time Michael’s character would use “I hardly know her” was in the episode titled “safety training.”

The saying is such bad comedy that it gained a following of users around the internet and in some pop culture circles. The Urban dictionary first categorized the term back in 2008, and it appeared on Reddit in 2015.

Phrases Similar to I Hardly Know Her

  • I know her well.
  • That’s what she said.

Phrases Opposite to I Hardly Know Her

  • She blew me off.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • I hardly know her.
  • I hardly knew her.

Ways People May Say I Hardly Know Her Incorrectly

Some people may use the phrase incorrectly. People listening to the conversation may also not understand the relevance behind the term and take it at face value. While “I hardly know her” is a reasonably widespread pop-culture term, not everyone will understand its meaning or relevance.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase I Hardly Know Her

I hardly know her” suits use in a friendly conversation where you’re trying to make a joke of the situation. The speaker is usually trying to impress people about their promiscuous attitude towards dating and relationships.

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