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What is the name of the emotion that you feel when you accidentally make a mistake? Such as when you clumsily drop a bowl and it shatters? In the Simpsons, Homer says "D'oh!" when this sort of thing happens.

I don't think it's "regret", because you didn't do it on purpose. "Chagrined", perhaps? Is there a more common word for this emotion?

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6  
....frustration –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 24 at 16:41
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I remember Kryten trying to master emotions in Red Dwarf: 'I'm working on ambivalence'. –  Edwin Ashworth Apr 24 at 16:57
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Finally, a question of Homeric proportions! :-) –  Questor Apr 24 at 17:03
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Sticking to words created/popularised by The Simpsons, how about “I’m edgy, I got ants in my pants, I’m discombobulated! Get me a calmative!” – Abe “Grampa” Simpson –  FumbleFingers Apr 24 at 17:44
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D'oh covers a vast range of emotions. –  fungku Apr 24 at 18:37
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10 Answers 10

up vote 15 down vote accepted

While I think your suggested chagrin may be most on point, you also might use

  • embarrassment
  • humiliation
  • mortification
  • discomfiture
  • vexation
  • discomposure

In a sense, D'oh is a sort of onomatopoetic representation of the slapping of the forehead while exclaiming, I feel like a dope!

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2  
I liked vexation. –  Cruncher Apr 24 at 20:07
    
the original chagrin is one I have not seen in a long time and seems well on target. the others are also mostly appropriate –  javadba Apr 25 at 19:57
    
Yes, I think chagrin is probably best. The dictionary defines it as "Distress or embarassment at having failed or been humiliated". –  Jonathan Aquino Apr 28 at 14:07
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sheepishness - showing or feeling embarrassment especially because you have done something foolish or wrong

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In mind mind, "sheepish" implies one is more quiet and reserved due to their embarrassment, whereas "D'oh!" is often exclaimed loudly. That could just be me though. –  Alex Apr 24 at 20:09
    
@Alex: Well, this forum posting by one "Preacher" seems perfectly "normal" to me: [sheepishly] D'oh! I didn't think of that. Thx. [/sheepishly]. That could be just him though. –  FumbleFingers Apr 24 at 21:29
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The official term for Homer's "D'oh!" is "annoyed grunt," so strictly speaking, the adjective would be annoyed.

I admit, it doesn't really convey the emotional force of the interjection. Perhaps Homerically annoyed would be more fitting.

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+1 for best use of "Homerically"! –  T.Rob Apr 25 at 12:15
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@T.Rob It's how he whines dark, see? –  Tony Apr 25 at 15:21
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I would say "consternation" is a good synonym for "d'oh". It captures the embarrassment and frustration.

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Chagrin is a good word or vexation . Many would say:

"I feel clumsy."

although "clumsy" is not a feeling.

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@BrianHooper You are correct.........do you suggest I edit my answer?? –  Gary's Student Apr 25 at 11:10
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"Foolish" immediately comes to mind.

Other words with the same meaning include:

  • thoughtless
  • harebrained
  • imprudent
  • foolhardy
  • silly

And some more informal words:

  • stupid
  • idiotic
  • witless
  • brainless
  • dumb
  • dimwitted
  • halfwitted
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OK - most of these aren't emotions though. –  Jonathan Aquino Apr 26 at 23:18
    
@Jonathan Why not? "I feel foolish." I suppose you could add -ness to all of these if they need to be nouns. –  Doorknob Apr 27 at 14:47
    
Hm - I think these are judgements/evaluations rather than emotions/feelings. –  Jonathan Aquino Apr 28 at 13:56
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How about "flustered"?

It's closest I can think of to combining an element of personal embarrassment with a flash of frustration at the situation. It implies a response with a quick onset and brief span.

Of course that's just if "d'oh" refers to something you personally precipitated. It can be used in very different contexts, e.g. sympathizing with a friend's misfortune, or just frustration at something that happened to you.

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Flustered carries an element of confusion with it, "D'oh!" does not as normally used. "D'oh?" on the other hand... –  Mr.Mindor Apr 25 at 15:26
    
I don't know if "flustered" carries confusion so much as "finding things not as expected and having a hard time recovering". You certainly could be confused by that, or it might be immediately evident what went wrong. –  sosiouxme Apr 27 at 21:32
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It is a concatenation/combination of "Duh" and "Oh", which should be obvious. It can be looked at as a combination of "It's obvious" and "now I get it". If you check the dictionary, the definition is: "The feeling someone has after reading the above description."

The above response is the result of 8 hours of writing Java code.

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Does "d'oh!" perhaps have an element of rueful or self-reproving?

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I don't think a word should be defined by the way any one character uses it. "D'oh" was used by Jimmy Finlayson in most if not all of the 33 Laurel and Hardy shorts he appeared in. His was an expression of pure exasperation. Homer's is a different, I think reflecting a certain insecurity that never burdened Finlayson.

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