When someone is impressed by something, or taken aback, they will sometimes make a noise that is usually typed out as, “Oof!” However, the “f” isn’t always vocalized. Sometimes it’s just a flow of air that follows an “oo” sound. So, the “oof” sound isn’t necessarily a word, but a sound in an of itself - like a sigh, a huff, or a scoff.

Imagine, if you will, someone seeing a beautiful car. They might say, “Oof! Look at that car!”

If you were to transcribe that sentence, what word would you use to describe the “oof” sound?

  • 2
    Oof is the conventional spelling for that interjection. And since English spelling does not represent English pronunciation, it doesn't matter whether the final /f/ is present or not. Most spoken English is not really representable in writing the way it's spoken -- it's fulla contractions n variations n all kindza stuff. So don worry about it. Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 23:43
  • In New York, we considered it Italian street talk blending a grunt, Wow, and Oh No! Could be a mini minced F bomb. Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 3:27

1 Answer 1


This is called an exclamation. (Collins Dictionary). An exclamation is a sound, word, or sentence that is spoken suddenly, loudly, or emphatically and that expresses excitement, admiration, shock, or anger. Here (Oxford Language Club) is a list of common exclamatory words.

Psst, here (English Grammar) is another list. Yoo-hoo. Happy exclamation.

  • If you're looking for an Official Part Of Speech, it's the last and least one on the list, the Interjection. Remember, at the end, "Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections"? Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 14:29
  • Please edit your answer so that it follows our Help Center's guidance on how to reference work by others. We are not a link farm, and a bare unattributed link does no one any good. Our reuse licence allows for plain-text reuse, and so the link would be lost if not given in actual text.
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 14:54
  • Provided link, name of source and meaning if word/words is not in common use
    – banuyayi
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 15:52

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