WIX: That smarts!

I dedicate this post to Beth Stilborn, writer of picture books, middle-grade and adult fiction, and ‘engine’ for the online Children’s Book Hub. She recently posted a photo that made me say “ouch” out loud (hope it feels a little better now). Searching for an equivalent I found the exclamation uttered with sudden pain (or the thought of it) is almost universal, and no matter where, or with whom you may find yourself there is probably no mistaking what is felt!

Hungarian: aú

French: aïe

German: aua

Catalan, Estonian, Finnish, Galician, Portuguese: ai

Spanish: !ay, or uy!

Albanien: uf

Japanese: あっ! (A), or あう (Au)

Arabic:  أخ (aakh)

Swedish: Aj

Croatian: jao, avaj

Dutch, Norwegian, Romanian: au

Philipino: aray (ah-wry)

Maltese: aħħ, or ajma (ay-ma)

Iranian: ai, ooi, au, akh, oof

Thai:  โอ้ย “oy”

Polish: auć (sounds like ouch’! ) or ała

Indonesian: aduh

Italian: ahi

Chinese: 哎哟 aiyo, or 哎呀 aiya

Hebrew: !איי(aay)

I wouldn’t know how to pronounce this, or even if it is quite correct, but this is what I found for Tamil, spoken in southern India and north-eastern Sri Lanka:

திடீர் என உண்டாகும் வலியை உணர்த்தும் சொல்

I wonder if this sounds as long as it looks!

Beth is also promoting International Dot Day: Every year on September 15, innovative educators around the world celebrate International Dot Day by making time to encourage their students’ creativity. – click for more info

31 thoughts on “WIX: That smarts!

  1. WOW! Julie — thank you so much! I’ve never had a post dedicated to me before, and I so appreciate it!

    I’m also fascinated by language, and it is so cool that the exclamation of pain is nearly identical in so many languages. I have a friend who should be able to tell me how to pronounce the Tamil version. I’m betting it takes longer to say than “ouch”…

    This is just soooooo lovely of you, and yes, my head-hurt is healing. The staples come out tomorrow afternoon.

    THANKS, JULIE!!!! (Love the illustration!)


  2. So glad to hear you’re healing – maybe this post will help speed things up a bit! I have friends who speak Tamil too, but they didn’t come to our badminton session yesterday so I’ll have to ask at the tournament on Sunday!


  3. Fun. Thanks for the list of ways to say ouch all around the world. That last one, with all the pretty squiggles, is probably like when Yosemite Sam would stomp his feet and say, “Rack’em smack’em, grunt groan.”


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