Meep! Nonsense Word Goes Viral, Gets Students in Trouble

Massachusetts principal threatens to suspend students caught meeping.

ByABC News
November 11, 2009, 12:06 PM

Nov. 11, 2009— -- MEEP!

Don't know what it means? Don't worry -- most people over the age of 22 don't either.

But the nonsense word -- which apparently started with the 1980s Muppet character Beaker -- is causing a lot of teeth-gnashing for adults at one Massachusetts high school. They have gone so far as to threaten suspension for students caught meeping.

But just what does it mean to "meep?" No one really seems to know -- even those who use it as part of their daily vocabulary.

According to, meep "can mean whatever you want it to mean."

Yeah, that clears it up.

Bob Thompson, a pop culture professor at Syracuse University, said he first heard students meep about a year ago during a class screening of a television show.

"Something happened and one of them said 'Meep,'" he said. "And then they all started doing it."

The meeps, he said, came from all of the students in the class in rapid-fire succession. When he asked them what that meant, they said it didn't really mean anything.

"It's almost like they look at you like it's a silly question," he said.

But meeping doesn't seem to be funny to Danvers High School Principal Thomas Murray, who threatened to suspend students caught meeping in school.

In an interview with the Salem News, Murray -- who did not respond to e-mail or voice mail messages from -- said automated calls were made to parents, warning them of the possible punishment after administrators learned that students were conspiring online to mass-meep in one part of the school building.

"It has nothing to do with the word," Murray told the Salem News. "It has to do with the conduct of the students. We wouldn't just ban a word just to ban a word."

The planned disruption (meep-ruption?) never happened, he told the paper.