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5
votes
3answers
844 views

How ‘HOW’ change the meaning of the Twinkle song?

I'm a Spanish speaker so this makes me confused. In the song, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star I would understand I wonder what you are! ==> Me pregunto que eres (seras)! But they add HOW before....
0
votes
1answer
85 views

See? How fun this game is!

I'm not a native speaker, and I need help with the proper usage of exclamatives in some contexts. [Context1: John is playing a video game alone, and is enjoying it. He utters:] 1. How fun this game ...
23
votes
7answers
1k views

Eww! Has it crossed the pond yet?

I hear eww (sometimes spelt as ew) fairly regularly on American sitcoms, usually uttered by a scatterbrained beautiful blonde girl when she sees or hears something disgusting. I don't recall it ever ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Expletive or exclamation meaning “exactly” or “precisely” [closed]

I have a friend who is an excellent non-native English speaker. However, when agreeing emphatically via text message, he will sometimes say "exact-fucking-ly!" This sounds odd compared to "abso-...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Where did the phrase “Holy Toledo” come from? [closed]

I was reading online and noticed this phrase in the comments. Holy Toledo What is the origin of this phrase?
12
votes
5answers
870 views

“God bless you” equivalent for fart?

In response to someone sneezing there are a few possible phrases you can say as a form of polite acknowledgement: "God bless you" "Gesundheit" And others. But with a fart you laugh, deride ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Yikes! Where did it come from?

(humorous, slang) Expressing fear. (humorous, slang) Expressing empathy with unpleasant or undesirable circumstances. [Wiktionary] Yikes! Where did it come from? OED says "Origin unknown,...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do we use the word “oops”, if something goes wrong?

Why do we use the word oops in a sentence or when communicating with others, if something goes wrong? I would like to know the correct information regarding this question.
-1
votes
1answer
82 views

Duah vs. Dua? Which one is right? [closed]

For the phrase, "Yeah, duah [dua]," which spelling is correct? In this case "duah," means "obviously."
-1
votes
3answers
194 views

Use of the word “farewell”

If I use "farewell to headache" as a slogan, would it imply a statement similar to "relieves headache" or "treats headache"? or is there a contradiction in meaning that headache is a bad thing and you ...
4
votes
5answers
25k views

Why is “bloody hell” offensive or shocking?

It seems to me that if one describes hell as 'bloody', that is simply describing one of the properties you'd expect of it. So, why is 'bloody hell' used as an offensive or shocking phrase?
6
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the origin of “shh”?

The word "sh" (or "shh") is an exclamation for silence: Shh! They're listening... Etymonline only mentions a date (1847) and the common practice of "putting a finger to the lips." Does anyone ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

Quotations and Exclamation Marks [duplicate]

I am writing an email reply and want to confirm if the punctuation below is correct. * In response to your question, if it is available, my answer is “yes!" * EDIT: Also, should the ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

How easy it is or How easy is it [duplicate]

The actual sentence goes like this: How easy it is to integrate the two applications? or How easy is it to integrate the two applications? To my understanding 'How easy it is' wrong if used as a ...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

The word “pew” (P.U., etc.) and positive or neutral connotation

Normally, whenever I've heard the word "pew" (or its Bugs Bunny-esque cousin P.U.), it's applied to a bad smell of some kind. I just started learning an old folk song from the Appalachians called "...
3
votes
4answers
572 views

Polite or unrectified placement of the word please

I would please prefer to take both parts of the test on Monday. Is the placement of the word please in this sentence grammatically correct?
0
votes
1answer
636 views

Oh fudge knuckle!

What does this expression mean? I heard it in a video where the person said something like This sounds right, but in fact, son of a gun, or as my younger son would say, fudge knuckle, it goes ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

English equivalent of the Italian “Mannaggia!”, “Che peccato!”

What is the English expression or exclamation to refer to something that has gone wrong or a missed opportunity, or something that we could have done better than we actually did? I'm specifically ...
-2
votes
1answer
1k views

Omitting commas in brief statements

In a brief exhortation followed by the name of a sports team, such as "Let's go, Dodgers!" or "Go, Phillies!" is it ever appropriate to omit the comma?
9
votes
2answers
64k views

Origin of “I see, said the blind man, as he waved his wooden leg”

"I see", said the blind man, as he waved his wooden leg. is an expression used by someone on whom comprehension has just dawned, or a catch-phrase addressed to that person. Sometimes it can be ...
2
votes
1answer
744 views

Are these how's meaning 'how well'?

It’s not easy how I have to read clauses starting with how. I’m going to start this question with a case from Longman –– “He was impressed at how well she could read! (A)”. Though Longman says how is ...
21
votes
9answers
10k views

Does “yar” (or “yarr” or “yargh”) in Pirate English imply an affirmative?

In honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, I’d like to ask a question about the pirate dialect of English. Most pirate sentences begin with a standard pirate-sounding hedge to lend ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Exclaiming Questions [duplicate]

What is the correct way to write a question you would verbally ask in a higher tone of voice? How is this possible?! OR How is this possible!? The subtlety lies in the punctuation. Thanks
2
votes
3answers
10k views

What does “Merlin's beard!” mean?

I know that Merlin's beard! is an exclamation from Harry Potter which is similar to "Oh Lord!". and it is a common wizarding expression used to show surprise. Can we use it this expression in the ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Origin of “Homeward ho!”

In the English translation of an essay by Leon Trotsky that came out in Foreign Affairs, I read [emphasis added]: Now it turns out that the world exchange is the source of all misfortunes and ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

Understanding “Mother of God!” or “Holy Mother of God!”

I have come across this term numerous times and this expression is well used when something unbelievable or shocking happens but I don't understand how Mother of God can imply its meaning. Does refer ...
1
vote
2answers
592 views

What weather! What a pity! - phrases with and without article - why? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any simple rules for article usage (“a” vs “the” vs none) ‘… the weather’ vs. ‘… weather’ “Bad weather doesn't exist” vs. “The bad weather doesn't exist” I've ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the origin of the dated British expression “I say!”

It doesn't appear that this expression was a minced oath or something along those lines. Was it shortened from a longer phrase, or did it just enter the vernacular as is (similar to "listen up" or "...
19
votes
10answers
21k views

What's the verb for making that “pffft” sound?

I have a dialogue like this: "All I wanted to do was to keep a low profile" "Pffft. That worked well, we not only have the entire police force but also the entire mafia chasing us" I don't ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Can “alas” be used all by itself?

Often, you see something like Alas, I couldn't afford it. But isn't it possible to use it all by itself? I couldn't afford it. Alas! What about in combination with "however", as in ...
2
votes
10answers
9k views

What are some old-world alternatives or precursors to 'WTF' (expressions of frustration or surprise)? [closed]

Such as 'what on Earth' or 'what in the world', etc. I'm trying to come up with a list of witty alternatives. Note: I'm not looking for alternatives to the letters W, T, and F. I'm looking for ...
10
votes
1answer
25k views

Yes, no, adverbs, and interjections

There appears to be some disagreement over what function yes and no perform in the following sentences: Yes, you are right. No, you are mistaken. According to ODO (yes, no), they are being used as ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the difference between “really” and “for real”? [closed]

For example: I don't know who Tiger Woods is. For real? and I don't know who Tiger Woods is. Really? I don't see any difference in this case, but are there some specific cases when these ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

“Is/are X + adjective”

I provide the sentence in context: [A couple kisses. A friend of them sees the scene and says:] Oh, are you cute! This clearly means "you're so cute, sweet" and the like. So, is this ...
1
vote
1answer
556 views

Exclamation before or after the interrogation? Doesn't matter? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a standard ordering for the question mark and the exclamation mark used together? Which is correct: Was That Folk!? Was That Folk?! Or both? I always ...
0
votes
2answers
13k views

Common interjections / exclamations in English [closed]

What are the interjections / exclamations commonly used in English (e.g. aha, wow, eh, etc.)? I'd appreciate if you can provide me with a full list with the meaning of each term.