[oh] /oʊ/

(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?
noun, plural oh’s, ohs.
the exclamation “oh.”.
verb (used without object)
to utter or exclaim “oh.”.
an exclamation expressive of surprise, pain, pleasure, etc
sentence connector
an expression used to preface a remark, gain time, etc: oh, I suppose so

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.

off hand
open house (real estate)


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