From an article of the Daily Beast about the MAD Magazine:


Okay, maybe not quite. Physically and editorially speaking, the self-proclaimed “Number One Ecch Magazine” still exists.

What does "ecch" mean here? I could find a definition in the Urban Dictionary, but don't know if it fits here. (I am aware of the many neologisms created by the MAD Magazine; I used to be a reader of the German edition after all.)

  • Mad Magazine Ecch! Rated Super Special # 135 March 1999 Issue! That one's punning Ecch with X-rated - but back in the 60s, where it appeared as an exclamation within the cartoons themselves, I always read it as a quirky American way of writing Yuck! or Ugh! (different orthographies for the same expression of disgust). Feb 11, 2018 at 13:26
  • @FumbleFingers I think it's meant to be the sound of disgust, like retching, but as far as I know it's only in common use in MAD Magazine.
    – Andrew
    Feb 11, 2018 at 20:36
  • @Andrew: Indeed. I'm familiar enough with Ach! (though it always looks a bit Scottish / Germanic to me). But Ecch! (along with Potrzebie and several others) has no associations apart from being in Mad's lexicon. Feb 12, 2018 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


"A colorful term to describe some thing disgusting". That's the right meaning. It's usually said by someone about someone or something else. MAD was famous for saying it about themselves, possibly because they knew that other people were going to say that they had a "disgusting" sense of humour (even though a lot of the humour in it was, in fact less disgusting than it might have been).

  • It’s maybe worth noting that this could be regarded as self-deprecating humor.
    – J.R.
    Feb 11, 2018 at 10:40
  • MAD used to be more on the edge back in its day, but with the kind of comedic "shock jockeys" now common, its humor has become tame.
    – Andrew
    Feb 11, 2018 at 20:38

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