Aiyoh Added To Oxford Dictionary

Aiyoh! Brace yourself the for latest additions to the Oxford English Dictionary.


The September list of new words include entries such as scrumdiddlyumptious (delicious), yogasana and also get ready for this, ‘aiyoh’ and ‘aiyah.’

The term is derived from the vocabulary of South Indian language. Those of you who have never uttered ‘aiyoh’  should probably try it out.

South African Indians are well aware of the variety uses of the exclamation ‘Aiyoh’.  It’s one of the most affectively versatile words in the Dravidian language, capable of expressing – in Tamil alone – a suite of emotions including consternation (“Aiyoh! Why is he wearing that shirt again?”), shock (“Aiyoh! Are you sure he has passed away?”) and – with a slight modification – apprehension (“Ai-yi-yoh..I’m sure my boss is going to fire me for this!”).

“Aiyah” is another such interjection used by speakers of South Indian languages. The expression differs phonetically from “Ayya,” which is an honorific.

The Oxford English Dictionary, or the OED, is 150 years old, has up to 600,000 entries, and its publisher – the Oxford University Press – calls it the ‘definitive record of the English language.’ For purists who swear by it, if a word isn’t in the dictionary, it isn’t English. Well, bilingual English-lovers who are also well-versed in South Indian languages no longer have to wince when they hear someone inteject, “Aiyoh!” during an exhange in the Queen’s English!

Source Input: TOI

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