I Hardly Know Her!


 “(Blank subject)? I hardly know her!”


My informant first heard this joke sometime in High School from friends, and typically uses it within friend groups.

According to my informant, a common way of using this joke would be “to playfully poke at certain things like “healthy relationships? Hardly heard of her” or like “homework” or something.” They tend to make “a playful jab at something that mildly annoys [them] or something [they] wanna make fun of.” However, it’s not always used in a negative light.

When asked if it was a joke done to lighten the mood, even if not a negative context, they replied that said that they do tend to drop it into regular conversations and they said, “I think I do it just because I want to make my friends laugh a little.” An example provided goes as the following: “Say like my friend is talking about like having a crappy relationship and their partner is being a total piece of shit and I’m like “haha, having proper boundaries with your partner? Never heard of her!” there are a few layers to the joke cuz like it’s supposed to be like a sarcastic interpretation of the opposite side of my view. Say like I condone proper established boundaries but the joke itself is poking at people who don’t understand them to the point that they mistake the phrase of the name of a person or something.” 


In essence, this joke appears to be used to cope typically with negative situations and to turn them around into a lighter form. In the example provided, it appears to be a reassuring gesture. A way to connect and to exaggerate the offending person’s ignorance for a situation to the point that they would not even know that “proper boundaries” is not a name, and further justify the friend’s issues with that person. 

This interpretation of the joke is much different from the way that I have seen it be used. Instead of being a slightly sexual joke playing on the way a person would either end a request with something that ends in “er,” sounding similar to “her” (“Poker? I hardly know her!”), this joke is repurposed to support and uplift friends with a familiar format with an underlying amusing tone.