English interjections: hoot!

This are the usual meanings of hoot:

  • To hoot means ‘to cry or shout’, especially in a mocking way.
  • Talking about owls, it means ‘to cry’ and it can also be used if anyone or anything makes a similar sound to an owl’s cry.
  • In British English, it also means ‘to sound the horn of a motor vehicle.’
  • As a noun, the cry of an owl or any similar sound is a hoot and so is a shout, especially if it’s a mocking shout.
  • As a slang term, a funny person or situation can also be a hoot, although this sense is now dated.

owl_hoot

Example sentences

  • The crowd hooted at the politician’s extravagant claims.
  • An owl hooted somewhere in the darkness.
  • Angry at the delay, drivers were hooting furiously.
  • I heard the hoot of an owl.
  • The unsuccessful comedian left the stage to the sound of the audience’s hoots.
  • We should invite Davina to the party; she’s always such a hoot.

It can be used as an idiom:

  • I don’t care a hoot / I don’t care two hoots.

We could translate this idiom into Spanish:

  • No me importa un pepino/comino/pimiento…

But besides theese meanings, in the dialects of Scotland and Northern England, hoot can be used as an interjection, expressing impatience or dissatisfaction and preceding a disagreeing or contradictory statement:

  • Hoot! I prefer going to the cinema instead of whatching the movie at home

 

More information:

http://daily.wordreference.com/2017/08/08/intermediate-word-of-the-day-hoot/

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/hoot

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoot

http://diccionario.reverso.net/ingles-espanol/hoot

 

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English interjections: crap!

 Crap is used as an interjection when something goes wrong.

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Colloquially, and somewhat vulgarly, crap means ‘excrement’ or ‘the act of defecation,’ and ‘junk’ or ‘litter’ (a word that describes paper, cans, or general garbage that people throw).

People walking past litter on the street

Examples

  • “Oh crap!” Mary exclaimed, as the plate hit the floor and shattered.
  • Joe stepped in some crap on the sidewalk.
  • The cat’s taken another crap in the garden.
  • Irene told the teenagers to tidy up; she was sick of them leaving crap all over the house.

Also very colloquially, crap can mean ‘nonsense’ or ‘a lie’.

  • I never said that and you know it! You’re talking crap.

As a verb, it means ‘to defecate.’

  • If your dog craps on the sidewalk, you should pick it up and put it in a bin.

Craps, always with the “s” on the end, is also a dice game where players gamble on the outcome of the roll.

  • There were several people shooting craps in the casino.

Crap is also an adjective meaning ‘rubbish, no good,’

  • That film was crap.
  • I’m crap at maths.

It is used more often in the UK. In US English, the related adjective crappy is often used instead (you can also use crappy in UK English).

 

Words often used with crap

cut the crap: stop talking nonsense, get to the point.

  • OK, cut the crap; what have you really come to see me about?

crap out (US): ruin, make a mess of.

  • I need to go to the laundromat tomorrow. The washing machine crapped out last week.

beat the crap out of someone: beat up severely.

  • That boxer thought he would win the fight easily, but his opponent beat the crap out of him.

Thanks to WordReference. See more information here.

Almost onomatopeias

They are nouns or verbs, but I think they are close to the onomatopeias, because of the sound and the action they represent.

Puff                   Hash                   Dash

Puff

is a short blast of air or smoke, as well as the sound made when giving off a puff, and the act of inhaling and exhaling on a cigarette or pipe.

  • A puff of wind blew the papers off the table.
  • A single puff of smoke came out of the chimney.
  • Can I have a puff on your cigarette?

It is also a ball of choux pastry baked and filled with something sweet. To puff means ‘to blow with a short blast,’ as wind sometimes does, ‘to give or let out in a puff,’ and ‘to move with a puff.’

  • We had coffee and cream puffs.
  • Winston was puffing on his cigar.
  • The steam train puffed into the station.
  • Jim puffed the cushions on the couch.

See more information here.

Hash

In cooking, hash is a dish of cooked meat and potatoes cut up into small pieces and browned together.

  • We’re having hash for dinner tonight.

It is also a synonym for mess or jumble and it also refers to the reworking of old material used for a new purpose.

  • The detective had to sift through a hash of information in his attempts to solve the crime.
  • The author’s book was a hash of various articles she had written and conference papers she had given over the previous year.

As a verb, to hash means ‘to chop into small pieces,’ ‘to discuss something thoroughly,’ usually with “over,” and, in US English, “to mess something up.”

  • Rob is busy hashing the meat for tonight’s meal.
  • We spent the afternoon hashing over our plans for the following week.
  • The actor hashed his lines.

See more information here.

Dash

To dash means ‘to strike or smash violently’ or ‘to break into pieces by striking or smashing,’ ‘to throw violently,’ and, when we’re taking about paint or anything similar, ‘to apply roughly.’

  • As the storm intensified, waves dashed the shore.
  • The wind dashed the fence to pieces.
  • In a fury, Chloe dashed the wine glass against the wall.
  • The artist dashed great splashes of color onto the canvas.

More generally, it also means ‘to ruin or destroy’ and ‘to move with great speed.’

  • The accident dashed Alex’s hopes of becoming a professional soccer player.
  • It was raining hard, so we dashed from the car to the restaurant.

As a noun, a dash is a small quantity of something, a sudden movement, and also a short race.

  • Add a dash of soy sauce to the mixture.
  • The cat made a dash across the road.

See more information here.

English onomatopeias: Slam!

slam-the-door

As other posts on this blog about onomatopeias (you can see them here), today I’m explaining somethig about this onomatopeia that represents the sound  of a door which has been shut violently.

It can also be used as a verb, and in that case to slam means:

  • ‘to shut hard and noisily,’  with a door;
  • ‘to strike or hit with noise and great impact;’
  • ‘to push or strike violently,’ usually with the prepositions into or against, and
  • figuratively, it means ‘to criticize harshly.’

keep-calm-and-don-t-slam-the-door-25

It can be used as a noun:

  • a slam is something being closed hard and noisily;
  • a noisy impact;
  • a verbal attack;
  • in card games, a slam is the winning or losing of all the tricks or all the tricks but one in a deal of cards, and
  • poetry slam is an event where poets recite poems they have written.

Just a touch of humor, here you can watch Tom Hanks an Samuel L. Jackson performing some parodies of the beatnik poetry slam:

 

Thanks to WordReference for some information from its section ‘Word of the day’, see full information here:

Word of the Day: slam

English interjections: rats!

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As the interjection explained on my last post, Oh flip!, this one, rats!, is also a mild expression of annoyance, though this can sound dated now.

It isn’t at all rude and you can say it in front of anyone. For example, you might say:

“Rats! I’ve missed my bus.”

Words often used with rat

  • smell a rat: think something is wrong, become suspicious. Example: “The kids all swore they hadn’t done anything wrong, but they weren’t behaving normally and their mom smelled a rat.”
  • not give a rat’s ass (mainly US, slang): no care at all. Example: “I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think. I’m doing it anyway!”
  • like a rat up a drainpipe: very quickly. Example: “When the prisoner was released and they opened the gate to let him out, he was gone like a rat up a drainpipe.”
  • like rats leaving a sinking ship: said about people deserting something that seems to be failing. Example: “After the poor profits were announced, people started deserting the firm like rats leaving a sinking ship.

Thanks to Wordreference, Word of the Day.

More about rats…

When there are rats in some place, Scottish custom tells that you can make a “rat satire,” a song that is made up at the moment and sung to the rats to encourage them to leave and go elsewhere where there is food.
Diana Gabaldon includes this part of the Scottish tradition on her books series, Outlander. And  also on the TV series from Starz channel. See:

“Ye rats, ye are too many,
If ye would dine in plenty,
Ye mun go, ye mun go.
Go to Campbell’s garden,
Where nae cat stands warden,
And the kate, it grows green.
Go and fill your bellies,
Dinna stay and gnaw my wellies-
Go, ye rats, go!”

Traducción de Carmen Bordeu:

Vosotras, ratas, sois demasiadas,
si queréis cenar en abundancia,
debéis iros, debéis iros.
Id al jardín de los Campbell,
donde ningún gato monta guardia
y la col crece y madura.
Id y llenad vuestras panzas,
no sigáis royendo mis bienes
¡Iros, ratas, iros ya!

 

English interjections: oh flip!

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In UK English, flip can be a mild interjection, used to show annoyance with something. For example, someone might say:

“Oh flip! It’s my cousin’s birthday today and I forgot to send a card!”

Besides…

To flip means ‘to turn something over by tossing it in the air’ or ‘to move or turn something on with a sudden stroke.’ It also means ‘to turn rapidly,’ when talking about pages, or, when used with through, ‘to read quickly.’
Informally, flip has many meanings, such as ‘to react with great shock’ and ‘to become very excited or enthusiastic’ about someone or something, usually followed by the preposition over. As a noun, a flip is a somersault in the air, as well as an instance of flipping.

 

Example sentences
Roger flipped the burgers on the barbecue to cook the other side.
Linda flipped the switch and all the lights came on.
John wasn’t really reading the book, he was just flipping the pages.
The boss always flips through the reports, looking for the important points.
Ellen’s going to flip when we tell her the news!
Teenagers everywhere have flipped over this new band.
The gymnast performed a perfect flip.

Again, in UK English, you can also use the related adjective “flipping” to describe something that is annoying you. Example: “This flipping computer keeps crashing and I really need to get my work finished!” It really is a very mild word that is unlikely to cause offense to anyone.

Multi-word forms
flip out: to lose control, especially to become very angry or very excited. Example: “Adam’s parents flipped out when he told them he’d crashed their car.” “My parents are going to flip out when I tell them I got the highest score on the test.”
flip-flop: This can be a verb, meaning to move from one side to another. Example: “Sometimes politicians flip-flop on issues if they think it will get them more votes.”
As a noun, a flip-flop refers to such a move from one thing to another. It is also a usually waterproof, backless sandal with a strap between the toes that is often worn at the beach or pool. In the US we can also call these thongs or thong sandals.
Additional information
A flip is also a mixed drink made with liquor or wine, sugar, and egg, topped with powdered nutmeg and served hot or cold. In the 18th century, it used to be a drink made with beer or ale mixed with rum or other liquor, sweetened and served hot.

Porto_Flip

Other forms:
flippant (adjective), flipper (noun)
Origin:
To flip, meaning to turn something over, was first used in the late 16th century. It’s thought to be either a contraction of fillip or a variation of flap; in either case, all three words probably came from the sound something makes when it is turned over quickly in the air. As a noun, flip first appeared in the late 17th century, to describe a somersault where men put first their hands and then their feet on the floor. It was part of a dance. Soon this meaning was widened to anything that could be turned quickly in the air.
 Thanks to WordReference

English onomatopeias: bark! Yap! Yip!

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A bark is the sharp sound made by a dog, wolf, or fox and, by extension, any sharp sound similar to this, especially when someone is coughing or laughing. It is also used to describe the sound of a gun explosion and, figuratively, a bark is something said rudely, especially an order. As a verb and in reference to dogs or guns, to bark means ‘to make a barking sound,’ and also ‘to say something rudely or harshly.’
 But did you know that although bark is the term for all the short, sharp sounds dogs make, we also use a more specific term for the high-pitched barks made by some small dogs. For that we say they:
“yap”
or sometimes:
“yip.”
Both these words can also be used as nouns.

Example sentences

I heard a bark and realized there was a dog in the house.
Helen tried to hold back her laughter, but a bark escaped her.
The bark of the gun frightened the birds and they flew out of the trees.
The teacher’s bark soon put a stop to the students’ bad behavior.
My neighbor has eight dogsand they bark all the time.
The gun barked once and the deer fell to the ground.
I don’t like my new boss; instead of talking to the staff, she just barksorders at everyone.

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Multi-word forms

bark up the wrong tree: be completely mistaken about something or someone. Example: “I know you think it was me who stole your pen, but you’re barking up the wrong tree! It was Dan.”
their bark is worse than their bite: said of someone who seems harsh on the surface, but is not as bad as you think. Example: “Don’t worry if the boss shouts at you; his bark is worse than his bite. He won’t actually fire you for such a small mistake.”
bark at the moon: protest about something without having any effect. Example: “You can complain about the new highway all you like, but it won’t make any difference; you’re just barking at the moon.”

Additional information

In botanics, bark is the outside covering of a trees and, as a verb, to barksomething means to ‘to rub off or scrape the skin off something, as by bumping into something.’ So, for example, if you walk into a low table and graze your knees, you can say that you barked your knees on the coffee table.

Origin

Bark dates back to before 900. It comes from the Middle English word berkenand the Old English word beorcan; it is related to the Old English word borcian,meaning ‘to bark,’ the Old Norse word berkja, ‘to bluster,’ the Lithuanian wordburgė́ti, meaning ‘to growl’ or ‘to quarrel,’ and the Serbo-Croatian word br̀gljati,meaning ‘to murmur.’

Thanks to WordReference, see more information here.