This quintessential word used extensively in South India has now officially made it to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Aiyoh is a word that expresses a varied range of emotions and is uttered in surprise, awe, sadness, fear, pain, happiness, disgust and glee. And now it has been accepted as a word in the 'Bible of English'.
OED usually announces four new words each year that make the cut and this year in September it was Aiyoh. The word is said to have originated in China, and is used as Aiyoh in Mandarin and Aiyah in Cantonese.
Bollywood films usually use the word to typecast South Indians but now it looks like the Aiyoh is here to stay, officially. We have seen it used widely by Shah Rukh Khan in recent films and by actors like Mehmood and Sridevi earlier. However, the word is used in different ways as well along with other words. For instance, 'Aiyoh Rama' is a term that one will hear often. Tamil film stars have been seen on screen throwing around the word with such panache that you just cannot miss it.
Here are some situations in which it can be used:
Scene 1 – Shock and awe
Ram: My girlfriend said she wants to break up with me. Seems she met someone else.
Shyam (the guy whom she met): Aiyoh! What did you say?
Scene 2 – Manipulation
Geetha: Let's go shopping today. I need an outfit for the Friday party.
Seetha (the girl who wasn't invited to the party): Aiyoh, I don't want to go for the party.
Scene 3 – Break-up kya?
Prem: Sweetie, why don't we go watch a movie tonight instead of shopping... again...
Rupa: Aiyooooh.... not another movie... I want to get my hair and nails done.
Scene 4 – Fear
Dad: Rahul, I hear your 12th results are in. Your teacher was telling me (interrupted by Rahul)
Rahul: Aiyoh! Dad, I only flunked five subjects. I will pass next year for sure! Please let me keep my car!
The other words that made it to the OED this year were YOLO (You Only Live Once), Moobs (Man Boobs) and gender-fluid.