- (used as an expression of surprise, pain, disapprobation, etc.)
- (used in direct address to attract the attention of the person spoken to): Oh, John, will you take these books?
- the exclamation “oh.”
- to utter or exclaim “oh.”
Origin of oh
Related Wordsdear, woe, gee, oh, no, exclamation, wow, amen, hello, alas, boo, hurrah, ahem, whoopee, hooray, shucks, er, sorry, uh-oh, ouch
Examples from the Web for ohs
And the procession chanted something sad with plenty of ohs!L'Assommoir
Some of the girls gave little gasps of surprise, others, ohs!Peggy Stewart at School
Gabrielle E. Jackson
Very little was said, after Emily, interrupted by frequent “ohs!”Jessie Carlton
A chorus of “ohs,” and “ahs,” and “dear mammas,” went round the table.The Inglises
Margaret Murray Robertson
Ohs and ahs punctuated the air, women being the same in every land.Black Man's Burden
Dallas McCord Reynolds
- an exclamation expressive of surprise, pain, pleasure, etc
- an expression used to preface a remark, gain time, etcoh, I suppose so
Word Origin and History for ohs
1530s, interjection expressing various emotions, a common Indo-European word (e.g. Old French ô;, oh; Latin o, oh; Greek o; Old Church Slavonic and Lithuanian o; Gothic, Dutch, German o; Old Irish a; Sanskrit a), but not found in Old English, which translated Latin oh with la or eala.
The present tendency is to restrict oh to places where it has a certain independence, & prefer o where it is proclitic or leans forward upon what follows .... [Fowler]
Often extended for emphasis, e.g. Oh, baby, stock saying from c.1918; oh, boy (1910); oh, yeah (1924). Reduplicated form oh-oh as an expression of alarm or dismay is attested from 1944. Oh-so "so very" (often sarcastic or ironic) is from 1922. Oh yeah? "really? Is that so?" attested from 1930.