Dictionary of Interjections

Here is a list of English interjections, specifically those that are not included in normal dictionaries because they just signify noises people make (ahh, ow, grr) rather than exclamation words (hey, stop, yes). Feel free to mail me if you have suggestions or comments.

Like the sounds themselves, most of the interjection can be made stronger by stretching them out, such as "aaaaaah!!!" or "awwwwwww!!". This list mostly describes the shortest canonical representations. Note that some are listed several times with different meanings, and as alternate spellings under other entries.


WordAlternate/ SimilarTranslationExampleMeaning
aah!aaah, aaaahh"Help!""Aaaah! It's eating my leg!" Fright, shock. Sometimes it means "ahh" instead.
ahaa-ha"I understand""Aha! So you took the money!"Understanding, triumph (can also be used as "ahh")
ahem"Attention, please!""Ahem! Swearing is against office policy."The sound of clearing one's throat. Used to get someone's attention, especially if they don't know (or apparently forgot) that you're there.
ahhahhh, ohh"Ok, I see""Ahh, yes, I understand now" Realisation, understanding. Sometimes it means "aaah" or "eh" instead.
ahhahhh.."So relaxing""Ahh... This hot tub is amazing"Relief or relaxation
arghaugh"Damn!""Argh, the car won't work!"Annoyance, anger, frustration
awwaw, awww"How sweet!""Aww, what an adorable puppy" Shows sentimental approval (also see next entry)
awwaw, ohh, ahh"That's too bad""Aww, it hit him right in the nuts!" Feeling sorry or pity for someone
awoh"Come on!""Aw, don't be like that!"Mild disappointment or protest
bah"Whatever""Bah, I never liked him anyways."Dismissive, annoyed
boobooh"That's bad""Boo, get off the stage!"Disapproval, contempt
boo!booh!"Scared you!"I jumped out from the closet and yelled "boo!"A noise used to scare people by surprise
boo-hooboohoo"I'm crying!"Your internet is slow? Boo-hoo, how sad for you.Used, often sarcastically, to imitate crying.
brrbrrrr"It's cold""Brrr, it's -20C outside"Being cold, shivering
d'ohdoh"That was stupid/bad!""I just deleted all my files. D'oh!"Homer Simpson's catchphrase when something bad happens.
duh"That's dumb""Duh, you didn't plug it in."Expresses annoyance over something stupid or obvious
eekeeeek"Help!""Eeek, a mouse!"Girly scream. Surprised, scared.
eep"Oh no!""Eep! I didn't mean to say that!"Surprise (female)
eh?huh?"What?""Eh? I didn't hear what you said."Misunderstanding. Also see "eh?" below
eh?huh?, eyh?"Is that right?""So she dumped you, eh?"Stereotypically overused by Canadians
ewwugh, ewww, yuck, ick"Disgusting""Ewww, this apple is rotten"Disgust, dislike
fuff"Bullshit""Oh fuff, you don't know what you're talking about!"Contempt and disregard
gah"This is hopeless""Gah, I give up"Exasperation and despair
gee"Really?""Gee, that's super!"Surprise, enthusiasm, or just general emphasis.
grrgrrrr"I'm angry""Grrr, I'll kick his ass"Anger, snarling, growling. Often used for dogs and other animals.
hmmhm, hmmmm"I wonder" "Hmm, I'm not sure about that" Thinking, hesitation.
humphharumph"I don't like this""There are kids on my lawn again, humph!"A snort, to express dislike, disbelief or annoyance.
hahheh"Funny.""Heh, that's clever"The first syllable of "hahaha", when something is just a little funny. "Hah" can also be used spitefully in one-upmanship, as in "Hah, got you again you loser"
hahahehe, hahaha, bahaha"Funny!""Haha, that's hilarious!"Regular laughter.
huh"Really?""Huh, you were right"Mild, indifferent surprise
hurrahhooray, huzzah"Let's celebrate!""Hurrah, we won!"Generic exclaimation of joy
phew"That was close!""I didn't do my homework, but the teacher didn't check. Phew!"Expressing relief
ickyuck, ich, yak"Disgusting""Ick, this milk has gone bad"Disgust, dislike
meheh"I don't know""Meh, whatever you think is best"Indifference
mhmmmhm, uh-hu"Yes""Do you think so too?" "Mhm"Agreement, acknowledgement.
mmmmm, mmh"Lovely""Mmm, this ice cream is delicious"Pleasure. Sometimes it means "hmm" instead.
muahahamwahaha, bwahaha"I'm so evil!""I switched the sugar and the salt! Muahaha!"Evil villain's triumphant laugh
mwahm-wah"Kiss!""Thanks, you're so sweet! Mwah!"The sound of blowing a kiss
nah"No""Want another beer?" "Nah, I'm good"Informal no
nuh-uhnuh-hu, nu-huh"No, it isn't!"/"Did not!""I hit you!" "Nuh-uh!" "Yuh-uh!" "Nuh-uh!" Childish negation or refusal
oh"I see""Oh, you wanted sugar, not milk."Realisation
ooh-la-laoh-lala, la-di-da, la-dee-dah"Fancy!""A seven layer wedding cake? Ooh-la-la!"An often ironic (or just funny) way indicating that something is fancy or high class
oohoooh"Wonderful!""Oooh, it's shiny!"Wonder, amazement (ohhh can also mean ahhh)
oomphumph"I'm exerting myself""Push on 3.. 1, 2, 3.. oomph!"A grunt made on sudden exertion. Also used as a noun to mean "power" or "energy" ("This song needs more oomph!")
oops"I didn't mean to do that""Oops, I knocked your cup over"Being surprised at or acknowledging your own mistakes
ouchow, ouch, yeow"That hurts""Ouch, I hit my thumb"Expression of pain
owwoww, ouch, yeow"That hurts""Oww, I hit my thumb"Expression of pain
oyoi, oyh"Hey, you!""Oy! You forgot your wallet!"Mainly British: Used to get someone's attention, similar to "hey!". Also used disapprovingly ("Oy, you spilled your drink all over me!").
oyoy vay"Oh no...""The bills are piling up. Oy..."Mainly Jewish: Used to express self-pity, similar to "woe is me!"
pewpee-yew"It stinks!""Pew, that smells so gross!"Used for foul odors
pffpffh, pssh, pfft"That's nothing""Pff, I once caught a fish twice that size"Unimpressed
phew"That was close!""I didn't do my homework, but the teacher didn't check. Phew!"Expressing relief
psstWhispering "Hey, you!""Psst. Let's skip the next class!"Used to quietly get someone's attention, often to tell them a secret.
sheeshjeez"I can't believe this!""Sheesh, now he's drunk again" Exasperation, annoyance (corruption of "Jesus")
shhhush, shush"Be quiet""Shh, I'm trying to hear what they're saying!" Used to make someone be quiet
shoo"Go away""Get out of here! Shoo!" Used to drive away animals or small children
tsk-tsktut-tut"Disappointing""Tsk-tsk, he is late for work again"disappointment, contempt (this is a clicking sound. Clip from Futurama)
uh-huhmhm, uh-hu"Yes""Do you think so too?" "Uh-hu"Agreement, acknowledgement (easily confused with uh-uh)
uh-ohoh-oh"Oh no!""Uh-oh, I think the bear is inside the house"Concerned for indications that something will happen
uh-uhunh-unh, unh-uh"No""Eat your spinach!" "Uh-uh!"Refusal, especially if your mouth is full or if you refuse to open it (easily confused with uh-huh)
uhhuhm, err"Wait, I'm thinking""Seven times eight is... uhh... 56"Indicates a pause in, rather than the end of, a sentence
ummuhh, ummm"I'm hesitant""Umm.. Do you really think that's wise?"Being hesitant or skeptical (usually interchangable with "uhh" above)
waahwaaaaah"I'm crying!""I don't want you to go! Waaah!"Used, often sarcastically, for imitating crying or whining.
weewhee, weee"This is fun!""Weee! Faster!"Used by children when doing something fun, and often ironically by adults when something is fun but childish
whoa"Hold on.""Whoa, take it easy!"Can be used to suggest caution as in here, and also stereotypically used by marijuana smokers to express dumbfounded amazement ("whoa, look at the colors!"). Originally a sound used to make horses stop.
wow"Amazing!""Wow, that's incredible!"Impressed, astonished
yahooyippee, woohoo"Let's celebrate!""Yippie! We won!"Generic exclaimation of joy
yay"Yes!""Yay! We won!"All-purpose cheer. Approval, congratulations and triumph
yeahyeeeeaah!"Yes!""Yeeeaah! Kick his butt!"Common slang for "yes", sometimes also used as an interjection.
yee-hawyeehaw"I'm excited!""Let's gather some cattle! Yee-haw!"Much like "yahoo", but almost always associated with cowboys.
yikes"That's a bad surprise.""I found out I owed $5000 in back taxes. Yikes!"Fear and alarm.
yoo-hooyoohoo"Hey you!""Yoo-hoo, sugercup! Come give me a hug!"The often ironic/comical, seductive call of a woman to get someone's attention
yuh-uhyuh-hu, yu-huh"Yes, it is!"/"Did so!""I hit you!" "Nuh-uh!" "Yuh-uh!" "Nuh-uh!" ... Childish affirmation, often used to counter "nuh-uh!" (not to be confused with yoo-hoo).
yuckick, ich, blech, bleh, eww, ugh, yech"Disgusting!""Yuck, I wouldn't want to touch that"Disgust, dislike
whew"I'm surprised""You said it was expensive, but $10,000?! Whew!"Astonishment or relief, also used the same as 'phew'
zingba-dum-tss, badum tish"Haha, well said!""You're so stupid, you'd trip over a wireless phone!" "Zing!"Used (often ironically) to punctuate a punchline or witty comeback. From the sound of a rimshot, played after punchlines in some comedy acts.

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