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Questions tagged [interjections]

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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879 views

“passf***ingport” is it a bad use of interjection?

I was just having a little conversation with a few friends, and I used the word ‘passfuckingport’ out of nowhere. I am not sure what it sparked - my Western friends where alright with it, but one of ...
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1answer
208 views

What is a similar phrase to “scratch that”?

On Twitter, a reporter tweeted a phrase similar to "scratch that" once he realized he had made a factual error in his original tweet -- I cannot for the life of me remember what that phrase was! Any ...
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1answer
49 views

A replacement exclamation for “Gee” or “Man”? [closed]

Sometimes, I might say 'Man', as the precursor to a statement as in this recent example I said to myself after reading something: "Man, to give anything a label will always technically be reductive, ...
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1answer
178 views

“Later, Magellan became involved in an insular conflict in the Philippines” What does “Insular” mean here?

"Later, Magellan became involved in an insular conflict in the Philippines" What does "Insular" mean here? As far as Cambridge Dictionary is concerned, Insular means: "interested only in ...
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1answer
351 views

Etymology of “boy” as an exclamation/interjection [duplicate]

In the sentence "Boy, is there a lot to answer for" (from a recent EL&U comment), "boy" is used for expressing a strong reaction, especially admiration or excitement. How did this meaning/usage ...
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4answers
698 views

How is “erm” pronounced in the UK, and why is it spelled that way?

I see the interjection "erm" written in internet forum posts fairly often, and I have occasionally seen it in British novels, in opinion pieces and articles on cultural topics in newspapers and ...
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1answer
124 views

What are some non-expletives interjections for “I almost forgot [something]” [closed]

Just before leaving a conversation with someone, what non-expletives interjection could I use instead of the sentence "I almost forgot ..." if I want to sound apologetic? For instance: Could you ...
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1answer
96 views

What is the meaning of “that” as an Internet slang?

I see many times in comment sections of Internet forums such comments as the following: A: This girl is so ugly and I know nobody will date her ever. B: That! What does it mean?
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1answer
2k views

Is “shh” a word and why? [closed]

Is shh a word? If it is, why is it a word? If it is not, why isn't it a word?
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5answers
10k views

Onomatopoeia for disgust [duplicate]

Are there any English onomatopoeias for disgust / loathe? What exclamations are commonly used to express repulsion? Something that could be used like: (___) dog shit. I loathe it! (some sound here)...
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2answers
6k views

Wow vs Whoa, what is the difference between them in the US?

I searched here wow and here whoa and they seem to be pronounced differently. I'm concerned only when the meaning is to signify surprise. However, I'm not sure when to use one or the other, since both ...
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2answers
2k views

History of “oh well”

"Oh well" is an interjection used to express acquiescence or resignation towards an undesirable event which has occurred (maybe this isn't the most precise definition, but I think most native English ...
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2answers
140 views

Why is a word chosen as a pejorative? [duplicate]

Why is "duh" the word chosen to represent ignorance? Merriam Webster defines "duh" as "used derisively to indicate that something just stated is all too obvious or self-evident." But a derivation isn'...
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1answer
129 views

Is “*now*” acting as an interjection rather than a present of time?

Is "now" an interjection in this sentence: "Now, that's a fast car!" I get pretty confused on deciding if "now" is an acting as an interjection or present time. I think it is an interjection, but ...
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0answers
154 views

Are inserts and interjections the same thing?

I'm reading Biber's Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English. At some point the author lists families of words, which are: lexical words, function words and inserts. And then, after the ...
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1answer
4k views

What's the difference between “idem” and “ditto”?

I understand that in colloquial American English people retort with "ditto" when they mean "likewise", but I don't know that it is a correct use. I always thought the real meaning was "as I ...
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1answer
900 views

Is 'hmmm?' an interjection? If not, what is it?

I hope this isn't obvious (although maybe it's better if it is)! I'm working with an interview transcript and I have a participant who says 'Hmmm?' in a way that I want to discuss. Unfortunately, I ...
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4answers
351 views

Term for a word used to pad a sentence while the speaker thinks of what to say next [duplicate]

Is there a word for a term employed to play for time and allow the speaker a little longer to work out what he/she wants to say next? Words like um and er fall into this category, of course, but so (...
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1answer
2k views

Is the expression “By the gods!” an interjection?

In the work of art it reads as follows: "No, by the gods! Would that it had been!"
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0answers
41 views

What do you call the event when a person says “ahhhhhhmm…”? [duplicate]

One of the person here keeps on saying those words, I want to say that he needs to avoid that but I can't describe it. Example: Me: Please example the following to me. Him: That object is the ...
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2answers
293 views

Interjection made in mockery to make someone jealous

I seem to remember there is an interjection used by children when they have something another kid doesn't as a way to make them jealous: it's something along the lines of nuh-nuh-nah-nuh-nah said in a ...
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1answer
112 views

Can I use an interjection like “by God” to imply I'm talking about God later in the sentence?

Can I use the phrase "by God" to imply I'm talking about God, while also using it as an interjection? So e.g.: By God, it was a difficult thing to do, who has long since given up on me.
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2answers
996 views

Origin of “Period” and “Full Stop” as Interjections

In North America and the UK, "period" and "full stop" are used as interjections "to indicate that a decision is irrevocable or that a point is no longer discussable" (sense 23, here). For example, "We'...
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3answers
5k views

What is the origin of “woof!”?

We know that woof is the sound a dog makes when barking. It is used both as a noun and a verb. The word is onomatopoeic but it is also used as an interjection. People woof too when they are attracted ...
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2answers
2k views

“why oh why” or “why, oh why”? [closed]

Is this punctuated correctly? If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, Why oh why can’t I?" Or should “oh why” be set off by commas? If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, ...
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1answer
870 views

The word “pew” (P.U., etc.) and positive or neutral connotation

Normally, whenever I've heard the word "pew" (or its Bugs Bunny-esque cousin P.U.), it's applied to a bad smell of some kind. I just started learning an old folk song from the Appalachians called "...
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1answer
292 views

Is a comma required before an interjected “well”?

A picture shared on Instagram (original source unknown) contains the following grammar joke: “Well done, well-done, or well, done?” And, this being a grammar joke, I’d assume it uses correct ...
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2answers
618 views

Direct speech to reported speech with Hush! [closed]

Please change the sentence from direct speech to reported speech. I cannot solve this problem. Can anyone solve this? He said, "HUSH! The headmaster is coming."
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3answers
16k views

How do you write the expression of disgust that sounds like “er”?

My daughter said to me this morning (the context is irrelevant): Er, it's all wet! The interjection I have written here as Er was synonymous with Yuck. Its wetness did not cause great happiness. ...
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9answers
7k views

Interjection of exasperation or frustration when something is not working properly

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 ...
3
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2answers
318 views

Is there a name/term for “multiplied vowels”?

For example if somebody is saying: "Ooooooh myyyyyyy Gooooood" or if they realize something and go "Ooooooh!" or Darth Vader's "NOOOOOOO!", usually all of these extra vowels aren't included in the ...
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2answers
1k views

An interjection/expression for expressing nostalgia

What is an interjection/expression to use to express nostalgia? I was listening to a song which reminded me of my adolescent days, feeling nostalgic for those times. Are there kinds of nostalgia? ...
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5answers
16k views

Interjection said to a fisherman/angler for good luck

In some other languages, there are interjections said to a fisherman (especially to an angler) for good luck, other than "good luck!" itself. Is there any in English too? I suppose, "good luck" is a ...
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3answers
3k views

Why is there “the” in “oh the horror”?

I am wondering about the interjection "oh, the horror!". If it should be treated as an interjection directed to "horror" (there are similar expressions in other languages), why does it use the article ...
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1answer
565 views

What's the origin of the “surprise!” interjection?

This interjection is perhaps most commonly associated with surprise parties, where the person in whose honour the party is held is made unaware, until an opportune moment where the participants leap ...
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1answer
4k views

Interjection for a longing sigh

Is there an injection or at least an onomatopoeia for a longing sigh that works in writing? An example would be two colleagues are talking about the new member of the team on which one has a huge ...
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2answers
323 views

Word for an interjection made when drinking

Is there a word to describe a traditional interjection (in any language) made before drinking? Examples include: Cheers! (English) ¡Salud! (Spanish) Prost! (German) !לחיים (Hebrew) A close fit is ...
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1answer
2k views

Commas between interjectional elements [duplicate]

If one wanted to say something like no commas: Hello Pete, how are you? or commas: Thanks, Julia, this will be helpful! would he need commas separating the different elements in the ...
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2answers
128 views

“Enter the Fairies” after a sudden clatter or crash?

In my family, who originate from Scotalnd, people cry "enter the fairies!" if something has caused a sudden crash, smash or clatter. I am guessing it comes from a stage direction, such as from ...
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1answer
1k views

Diagramming and use of please as interjection

When diagramming the sentence, "Simon, would you please sing now?", should I diagram Simon or you as the subject? Would you be diagrammed as pronoun and please as an interjection? I am trying to help ...
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4answers
861 views

Is any utterance in English used only by men or only by women?

In my native language, there are some interjections used only by women. For example Va (pronounced /vʌ/), is an exclamation used to express surprise only by women. If any man happens to use them, he ...
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1answer
9k views

What is the correct way to write the interjection “ha ha?”

I had a hard time finding the English origin of this interjection and how it technically should be written. I am often ridiculed in written conversations, especially those that are informal, because I ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
423 views

Is it correct English to turn interjections such as “ah”, “oh”, “um” “huh”, “hem” into verbs?

For example: she ahhed/ohhed/ummed/huhhed/hemmed. Or is this possible only with some interjections?
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6answers
966 views

What is a more modern variant of the interjection 'Lo!"

What is a more modern variant of the interjection 'Lo!" I'm looking for a single word which has the same effect but is less archaic. It is a very formal context I want to use it in that you may ...
2
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1answer
299 views

Punctuation after the interjection “by heaven” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Exclamation marks in the middle of a sentence How would you punctuate the following phrase with "by heaven"? It was used by a cricket commentator. By heaven that's a ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
9k views

What is the origin of the dated British expression “I say!”

It doesn't appear that this expression was a minced oath or something along those lines. Was it shortened from a longer phrase, or did it just enter the vernacular as is (similar to "listen up" or "...
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4answers
54k views

“Oh, dear!” vs. “Oh dear!”

Which is correct, "Oh, dear!" or "Oh dear!"? My understanding is that the word oh is an interjection, and should thus be followed by a comma. However, is the second usage the correct one because the ...
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5answers
1k 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 ...