So say the knights who say NIH.

I don't get the above reference. What does it mean?

  • Why the downvote? If you believe this belongs somewhere else, please explain it in the comments. – LMD May 13 '19 at 17:06
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    Probably because you don’t show any indication that you tried to find an answer before you asked. See our Help Center's "How to Ask" page. Or because you didn’t include where you came across this sentence so that people could give you a proper answer about whether “nih” is a typo or intentional. See also Details, Please...., Why you should cite your source, and Contributor's Guide on meta. – ColleenV May 13 '19 at 17:37
  • Asking about a reference has nothing to do with English. Do you have a question about the syntax of the sentence? – Jason Bassford May 13 '19 at 17:48
  • @JasonBassford it’s ok to ask about meaning especially when the words seem to mean something other than the sum of their definitions. It’s not ok to not explain what about the words and where you found them made it hard to understand the meaning. – ColleenV May 13 '19 at 17:56
  • @ColleenV It would be fine if the question was What does NIH mean? Or if a particular aspect of the sentence were questioned. But neither of those things were done. There is no clear indication what the source of the confusion is. Instead, it asks for the reference. – Jason Bassford May 13 '19 at 18:32

It's a reference to the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


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  • Would you consider the "H" at the end a typo ? – LMD May 13 '19 at 15:50
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    A typo, perhaps, or someone simply wrote it as they were trying to transcribe a word that was spoken in a movie. The accepted spelling over the past 40+ years is "Ni!" but, if someone has only seen the movie, they may not know that. – geekahedron May 13 '19 at 15:58
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    My first thought was that it could be a pun on the NIH (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Institutes_of_Health) in the right context, but it's probably just a typo. – David Rice May 13 '19 at 17:33
  • Or a transcription error mistaking the final exclamation point (which is absolutely required) for an "h". – Andrew May 14 '19 at 16:12
  • In the context this was said in, it is a pun where LMD is accused of continuely reinventing the wheel. NIH is an acronym which means Not Invented Here – rubenwardy Nov 9 '19 at 13:35

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