Words such as "oh", or "wow", which are used to indicate an isolated emotion on the part of the speaker, without an explicit grammatical relationship to the rest of the sentence.

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2answers
4k views

What is it called when an interjection is inserted inside another word?

Typically (as far as I can think), the interject is something vulgar. For example: Radio-bloody-active (from an episode of Family Guy) Ri-god-damn-diculuous Un-fucking-believable" What is the ...
20
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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 ...
17
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3answers
789 views

You don't want to answer this word-placement question, now do you?

Prompted by this question I got to thinking about the placement of the word now. If it's placed before the comma, it refers to an immediate condition: You don't want to answer this word-placement ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

“Good bye”, “Bye”, “Bye bye”

I'm a non-native English speaker and sometimes it's hard for me to pick up the right word in some situations. Could you, please, explain when it's better to use "goodbye" for ending a conversation, ...
4
votes
3answers
735 views

How should “aargh” really be pronounced?

The common interjections "argh!", "aargh!", "aaargh!", etc., is pronounced, as far as I know, the same as "aaa!" For most of my life, however, I (and I imagine many other second language speakers) ...
11
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4answers
2k views

What part of speech are non-human “interjections” like “oink” and “bang”?

As a spin-off from this comment: If a human exclaims something like "ouch!", I believe it's considered an interjection. But if a pig exclaims "oink!", what is the part of speech? And if a bell goes ...
9
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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 ...
10
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3answers
6k 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?
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5answers
2k views

Is it a splice comma if an interjection-phrase is involved?

It's certainly poor style, if not actually wrong, to join independent clauses with a comma when a semicolon or other punctuation would have sufficed. But interjections are usually offset from other ...
12
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2answers
3k views

What does “boy” mean here?

Recently, in a magazine, I read the following line: It's been an eventful year and boy, has it flown past! My question is, what does the word "boy" mean here? Is it an idiom? What is its usage?
7
votes
4answers
610 views

Usage of “as if” as interjection

My question concerns the usage of "as if" as an idiomatic interjection. The references I have consulted (etymonline, online dictionaries, etc.) seem to agree that "as if" is used in this context to ...
7
votes
5answers
747 views

What are specific cartoon-type interjections like “cough” and “sigh” called in English?

In comics, for example those by Walt Disney, interjections that describe or emphasize in words what the characters in the image are doing are quite commonly used (cough, sigh, tweet). According to ...
8
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3answers
4k views

How to use the expression “lo and behold”

How should this expression be used, and what is its origin?
3
votes
2answers
139 views

Use of “measles” as an interjection

I have a friend from Illinois USA who uses measles as an exclamation of frustration or disappointment. For example, Measles! My flight was just canceled. I find this odd. Is it commonly used ...
6
votes
1answer
780 views

Interjection “et voilà”

I know et voilà is a French interjection and means there it is. It is very much used in the US. Why is the use of et voilà so popular in the US? Which historical fact has made it so popular?
4
votes
3answers
944 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 ...
2
votes
6answers
6k views

Would “Greetings” be a better word to greet someone any time than the word “Hello”?

Would "greetings" be a better word to greet someone anytime than the word "hello"? Let say I meet Mr. Jackson at 2pm and Mr. Anderson at 7pm. Would it be better to greet them as "Greetings Mr. ...
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 ...
1
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4answers
13k views

Interjection for the sound of a bell

I saw this other question, but it's not quite what I'm asking. A bell makes a sound. How would you write that sound in English? As an interjection, e.g. "boom!" I'm sure it varies with the type and ...