Why do we use the word oops in a sentence or when communicating with others, if something goes wrong?
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The most convincing etymology I've heard for this informal word signaling a mistake is an alteration of upsy-daisy. Upsy-daisy was a word of reassurance, often used when a child was panicked or distressed. For example, if a child fell and hurt their leg, a nanny could pick them up and say, "upsy-daisy." I feel that the context in which the word was typically used is as much a part of the etymology as the similar sounds. If you're saying "oops," you'll likely be needing some reassurance since you've made a mistake.
Regardless of the history of the word, it's a word denoting acknowledgment of a mistake, accident.
Synonyms: uh-oh, whoops.
Oops, was I supposed to save that really important report that was just deleted?
Oops, I dropped the plate of cheese.
Oops, forgot to cite some sources ;)
oops- "a natural exclamation" [OED] of surprise at doing something awkward, but attested only from 1933 (cf. whoops)
where whoops is from 1925, which is from where I would think oops evolved.
There are any number of expressions that are used in English to express dismay or surprise at something gone wrong or worse than expected. In the Southern US, for example, you might hear "Whooo boy!!" in reaction to some difficult situation or incident.
I think in a broader sense, it's that opening of the mouth in an O shape that indicates the surprise part. This may indeed go to the beginnings of our species, and I'm not being facetious. There are thousands of years of documented evidence of humans shouting "Oh!" in some form or another.
"Oops" seems like the softer, cuter variant of that, doesn't it?
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