When I am exasperated or frustrated when something is not working properly. Not like shit or fuck, those are just "something bad is happening", and too broad. I want something that's more like signifying annoyance, a "this is really getting to me" type of thing. Is there a word for this?

I have heard Chinese people say "aiiyaaa" in this scenario but I am not sure if there is an English equivalent for this.

  • If I remember correctly, Captain Haddock only ever used 'Blisterin' Barnacles!' when at the end of his tether. But then he was usually at the end of his tether. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 7 '14 at 21:36
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    @Edwin Ashworth 'Aunt Fanny' of Enid Blyton creation might have said 'bother'! – WS2 Oct 7 '14 at 22:06
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    What's wrong with a long, drawn-out guttural "AAARRRGHH!"? Works for me! :-) – Kristina Lopez Oct 7 '14 at 22:08
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    @Kristina Looks very similar in print to the long, drawn out, higher pitched "AAARRRGHH!" when one sidesteps a bramble and ends up in a large patch of nettles. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 7 '14 at 22:12
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    Why say anything? Who are you saying it to? What outcome do you expect to achieve? If I may intuit that nobody in particular is listening, that you wish to relieve frustration, and want to get to a more positive outcome, then a slightly humorous phrase like "I'm ready for the alternate ending now!" may help. – andy256 Oct 7 '14 at 23:01

Here's a list which might prove helpful to you. I'm sorry the list comprises more than just one-word expressions of exasperation.

  • "Oh, bother!"

  • "Saints preserve us!"

  • "Give me grace!"

  • "Fiddlesticks!"

  • "Screw it!"

  • "Give me strength!"

  • "Lord!"

  • "I give up!"

  • "Blast!"

  • "For Pete's sake!"

  • "For crying out loud!"

  • "Give me a break!"

  • "Why me?"

  • "Good night nurse!" (This is a strange one I picked up decades ago, and I find myself using it quite frequently. I seriously doubt you will find it in any dictionary or book of expressions, but I like it. It works for me!)

  • "Good grief!" (Charlie Brown's mantra, from Charles Schulz's comic strip, Peanuts)

  • "Forgive me, Lord, for what I am about to do!"

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Damn! or Damn it! are relevant.

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  • no those are more like the other two swear words. I am looking for exasperation specific, not a blanket utterance for bad things. It would be especially good if it can be drawn out. like aiyaaaaaa – BigBoy1337 Oct 7 '14 at 21:49
  • I disagree. These almost always signal exasperation; your two suggestions might be used when disgusted or alarmed. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 7 '14 at 21:52

You could go for an interjection like "ugh", "psht" or "tch".

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    'Ugh' surely is a sign of disgust. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 7 '14 at 21:53

Possibly Shazbot? It originated on Robin Williams' TV series Mork and Mindy:

From Wiktionary:

An excited utterance used to convey disappointment, particularly as a euphemism for sh*t.

And from Urban Dictionary:

Generally used as a substitute curse-word; a euphemism.

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I don't know if this is like your "aiiyaaa", but I write, and say (when profanity is not allowable, like at work)


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The phrase Aye Yai Yai (mentalfloss.com) is not uncommon to a Chicagoan; most likely thanks to our Spanish population. Whatever its meaning is I don't know but that doesn't matter; I know what was meant.

Do abbreviations count? no? Well, then FFS!

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Jesu Cristo - my personal exclamation in such instances.

While in Thailand I often heard something akin to the "aiiyaaa" cited above and even use that myself sometimes. Maybe in Thai more - "aheeee"

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  • This is an informative answer, but it would be more helpful to the OP and the site if you could reference third-party authorities, over and above your personal experiences. – Dan Bron Oct 8 '14 at 0:21


I believe this is the most accurate English translation.

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How about a touch of humor? e.g. ;'Damn, damn, double damn...and a full pint of damn for the weekend!' Credit to Peter (Hugh Laurie) and John (Stephen Fry) on "A Bit of Fry and Laurie".

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