0
votes
1answer
78 views

What's the origin of the “surprise!” interjection?

This interjection is perhaps most commonly associated with surprise parties, where the person in whose honour the party is held is made unaware, until an opportune moment where the participants leap ...
4
votes
2answers
95 views

“Enter the Fairies” after a sudden clatter or crash?

In my family, who originate from Scotalnd, people cry "enter the fairies!" if something has caused a sudden crash, smash or clatter. I am guessing it comes from a stage direction, such as from ...
4
votes
1answer
870 views

What is the correct way to write the interjection “ha ha?”

I had a hard time finding the English origin of this interjection and how it technically should be written. I am often ridiculed in written conversations, especially those that are informal, because I ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the origin of saying “yoo hoo!” to get someone's attention?

A character in D.H. Lawrence's novel Women in Love (published 1920) calls out, "Shu-hu!" to hail her sister in a crowded place. This must be the same as "yoo hoo". What is the source of this ...
28
votes
6answers
9k views

Hip Hip Hooray!

I am looking for the etymology and history of the cheer “Hip Hip Hooray”. I’m curious due to its interesting entry in Wikipedia, which reads thusly: The call was recorded in England in the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Where does “goodness me” come from?

The expression “my goodness” always seemed clear to me, as it is a simple bowdlerisation of “my God”, as are many expletives. However, I have heard many times the expression “goodness me!”, which ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Origin of the word “duh”

What is the origin of the word "duh" as in the interjection: — It's hot in the desert. — Well, duh! If it is of onomatopoeic origin and only appears in modern English as some sites suggest, I ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Origin of 'tada'

What is the origin of the word tada — as used as an exclamation? Is it an onomatopoeic form of sound effects used in, say, television or does its origin lie elsewhere?
9
votes
2answers
12k views

Origin of “man!”, “(oh) boy!”, and “oh brother”

Where did these interjections: man! (oh) boy! oh brother come from, and why are they all male? If you don’t know their current meanings as interjections, it sounds very strange to say Man! when ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Where does the use of “why” as an interjection come from?

Examples: Why, I'd love to. Why, of course! I get the concept of starting a sentence with a word not completely related to the overall response, but this one seems to be a particularly ...