Interjections

In English, an interjection is a word or phrase that expresses emotion rather than meaning. I thought it might be fun to go over some common interjections. Most interjections are a type of exclamation, and of course, we all know how to punctuate an exclamation, right? (Hint: We follow it with an exclamation mark!)

Many of these are just sounds we make, so the spelling can sometimes vary, especially if we add extra letters to drag the sound out longer (e.g., oooooohhh.)

I have grouped them together for similar feelings and arranged them in alphabetical order by the first word in the grouping. Things added later (after the recording) are in red.

  1. Ah ha! / Ahh! (to express sudden understanding)
  2. Ahem. (sound of ‘clearing your throat’ to get someone’s attention; can also express disapproval)
  3. Ai yi yi. / Oi vay. (to express regret)
  4. Aww! (to express disappointment; to indicate that you find something to be cute)
  5. Bah! / Humbug! / Pftt! (sound of dismissal as if something is not important at all)
  6. Bam! (to express a sudden impact, hit, or strike; to express vengeful payback)
  7. Bravo! (to express admiration of a job well done)
  8. Brrrr.(It’s cold outside! or I’m cold!)
  9. Cowabunga! / Geronimo! / Yeehaa!
    (to indicate that a thrilling experience is about to begin)
  10. Crap! / Darn! / Drat! /Heck! / Shoot! (many four-letter profanities go here)
  11. Duh! / D’oh! (to express stupidity)
  12. Eh? / Huh? (to indicate that you didn’t hear what was said, so please repeat)
  13. Ew! / Yuck! (sound of disgust at something smelly or nasty like vomit or sh-t)
  14. Ha ha. (sound of laughing at something funny)
  15. He he. (sound of snickering laugh, as if you’ve just tricked or teased someone)
  16. H’m? (to express mild surprise; to indicate an answer is expected)
  17. Hmph. (sound of mild surprise or acceptance; sound of dismissal)
  18. Holy smokes! / Great Scott! / Holy cow! / Yikes! (British say Crimey!)
    (shock or surprise)
  19. Hoo-ah! (to express enthusiasm; US Marines’ war cry)
  20. Hooray! / Yay! / Yippee! / Hot diggety dog! (excitement or happiness)
  21. M’m m’m! (rising tone m’m then falling tone m’m) (to express delicious taste)
  22. Oh, for Pete’s sake! (to express disgust or impatience)
  23. Ooh la la! / Vavoom! (to express sexual excitement or arousal)
  24. Oops! / Uh oh. (to acknowledge that a mistake has just made)
  25. Ouch! / Oww! (to express pain, literally or figuratively)
  26. Pbbbt! (expresses derision, like sticking your tongue out at someone; to give someone a “raspberry”)
  27. Psst! /Hey! / Yo! (to get someone’s attention; psst is used to secretly get someone’s attention)
  28. Poof! (to express that something suddenly vanished or disappeared as if by magic)
  29. Tsk tsk! (to express disapproval, as if to say ‘shame on you’ for doing that)
  30. Uh uh. (slang for no)
  31. Uh huh. (slang for yes)
  32. Wham, bam. Thank you, ma’am. (to express fast, uncaring action has occurred)
  33. Whew! (to express relief that a major effort has just finished; to express a close call)
  34. Whoa! (sound of amazement or disbelief)
  35. Wow! (amazement)
  36. Yeah, right. (to express sarcastic agreement but you don’t really believe it)
  37. Yoohoo! (yelled to get someone’s attention; used especially when entering a house that may be empty to alert anyone inside that you are about to enter their house; otherwise, you may surprise/scare them and they may shoot you for a burglar).

Please feel free
(a) to comment on any of these you have seen before or
(b) to add some that I have omitted. There are myriad interjections.

Link to some more interjections

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