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New Delhi, October 9, 2016: Indians would know, how often their day begins with Aiyoh or may be a variant of that when they are questioned something. It does creep into every day’s talk at some point.

Aiyoh! This expression is so widely used that Oxford English Dictionary (OED) decided to now include the word in it.


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The OED is the Bible of correct English for children and at times, even for the adults in the English-speaking world. It is more of a guide on the language, something you would scamper to when you are in doubt. People who swear by it say, if a word is not in the dictionary, it is not English.

It included “Aiyoh” and “Aiyah” in its latest addition this September (it does four updates every year). It has also included entries such as scrumdiddlyumptious (delicious) and yogasana (no explanation needed, one hopes).

Like other Indian words, this one is also loaded and depending on context and tone it can mean many things.

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Depending on the context and tone, you can have different meanings like disappointment, dismay, pain, lament, irritation, disgust, surprise, with both the words ‘aiyoh’ and ‘aiyah’

The words are also credited to Mandarin and Cantonese dialects of the language Chinese.
But these variants are also there in Tamil, Sinhalese, and are also used in many South East Asian countries, like Singapore and Malaysia.

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South Indians will agree how common the word is. It is so common that if the depiction of a south Indian is done in the north, especially in a Bollywood flick, you can almost bet “Aiyyo” will be one of the first words to be used.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi


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