I'm looking for words or phrases that are not appeals to a deity ("oh my God"), but still show strong emotion. Please don't give phrases that are exclamations but don't show strong emotions (who says "oh (my) gosh" in a fit of rage?). I also think we can take vulgarities for granted.

  • 3
    If you leave out vulgarities, you got nothing left. Strong emotions are vulgar, especially when expressed in language. – John Lawler May 17 '14 at 21:33
  • Other than minced oaths, I can't think of any either – Third News May 18 '14 at 4:02
  • I can think of some archaic ones: woe is me, alas, alack... – Anonym May 18 '14 at 4:18
  • This question has been asked before see english.stackexchange.com/questions/154284/… and it was closed because it was too broad. – Mari-Lou A May 18 '14 at 10:13
  • Son of a Biscuit
  • Son of a Beach
  • Darn-it
  • Crap
  • Mother Trucker
  • Dagnabit
  • Good grief (Charilie Brown)
  • Dang-it
  • Yo-Yo Ma (Kramer)
  • Serenity Now (George Costanza)
  • Poo Poo head (kindergarteners)
  • Bugger (A Christmas Story)
  • Oh Fudge (A Christmas Story)

That's all I can think of. Now beat it.

  • I don't see any of these actually being used by someone abruptly grasped by a strong emotion though, with the possible exception of dang-it. – KnightOfNi May 18 '14 at 15:32
  • @KnightOfNi - It depends on your personality. I wouldn't say many of these words. Maybe dang-it maybe serenity now maybe crap. I have heard most/all of these screamed the past year. Often they might be said because they aren't allowed to say the vulgar versions (my kid's preschool teachers) or they are kids or at work and trying to be professional. – RyeɃreḁd May 18 '14 at 17:41

Some people say - Well, I'll be - This leaves others to make their own conclusions. Strike me Roan or Strike me lucky - could be construed with making appeals to a deity but then again it may not. It is sort of inconclusive.


"Oh! Bother!"

"Goodness me!"

"Good gracious!"

"What the hell...?"


  • 1
    I'm a fan of "what the...?" No hell, no heck, just "what the...?" Like the old horror movie adage goes: what the audience imagines is always much worse than anything you could show them. – Marthaª May 18 '14 at 5:30



"I can't believe it"

I've used all of the of both in both positive and negative senses. Tone and volume convey a lot.

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