6 funny exclamations from around the world

10 Oct

Recently, the Tamil word ‘aiyoh’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary. It is unclear who might want to look up ‘aiyoh’ in an English dictionary. But anyway, the question is: how can a dictionary define exclamations like these? Here are a few from India and around the world that are hard to explain. Take them or leave them, but don’t try to make sense of them.

1. Mamma mia! (Italian)
Literally, it means ‘my mother’. Used as an exclamation, it expresses alarm, fear, surprise, or awe. Next time you’re terrified or impressed, remember to try saying this.


2. Holy moly! (American English)
Similar to mamma mia! According to the Oxford dictionary, it dates back to the 19th century, and may be an alteration of ‘holy Moses’. It appears to have been popularized by comics.


3. Dagnabbit! (American English)
Used to express annoyance, displeasure, or frustration. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this excellent phrase is derived by combining ‘dagnab’ and ‘it’. In case you’re wondering (as we were), ‘dagnab’ means ‘darn’. So this expression is basically synonymous with ‘Darn it!’


4. Taari saasu kaanda khaey! (Gujarati)
This literally translates to ‘may your mother-in-law eat onions’. Used as an insult when someone does something stupid, like backing a car into a ditch or forgetting their baby in the mall.


5. Hello! (Hinglish)
This may look like an ordinary greeting, but don’t be fooled. In English, ‘hello’ is a greeting you say after you make eye contact with someone. But in Hinglish, the word is used to catch someone’s eye. So when you’re in a restaurant where the wait staff is ignoring you, shout “Hello!” at a passing waiter. It’s the desi way of saying “Pay attention to me!”


6. Mon petit chou! (French)
Pronounced ‘mon ptee shoo’, this literally means ‘my little cabbage’. The object of your adoration may or may not be high in dietary fiber and vitamin C, but they would still be your ‘petit chou’ in French.


Fortunately, there’s no shortage of bizarre expressions in the world. Got any weird or funny exclamations to share? Leave a comment below or email us!

By: BrainGain Staff Writer

No comments yet

Leave a Reply