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    #1

    'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

    Help! Which one of these is the correct one? Or are both in usage with different meanings? I know it's an expression that should mean something like 'oh gosh!,oh my, oh dear, oh boy...etc' or doesn't it??

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

    "Oh, bother!" was a phrase used in older times; it was something a character in Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre might have said.

    "Oh, brother!" is the common expression used today. It can mean "oh, dear" or "oh, boy" or "woe is me" or "Oy vey!"

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    #3

    Re: 'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

    So, one can not really use 'oh, bother!' anymore I guess? Well thanks for the explanation.

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    #4

    Re: 'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

    'Oh bother' is a polite way of saying 'damn it' (or worse)

    'Oh brother' is an expression that means someting like 'Oh Lord/Oh my God

    So they are different in my opinion.


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    #5

    Re: 'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

    Quote Originally Posted by curmudgeon View Post
    'Oh bother' is a polite way of saying 'damn it' (or worse)

    'Oh brother' is an expression that means someting like 'Oh Lord/Oh my God

    So they are different in my opinion.
    I agree, C, but at least for NaE, 'Oh bother', while not impossible, sounds rather dated. Perhaps it's because most people don't feel the need for such words. People tend to use the 'or worse'.

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    #6

    Re: 'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

    Yes, it's still used in BrE though sometimes with a little pause after the 'Oh', then a vehement 'BOTHER" which seems to satisfy the speaker and doesn't upset the audience too much. The hidden meaning is clear

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    #7

    Question Re: 'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

    Quote Originally Posted by curmudgeon View Post
    Yes, it's still used in BrE though sometimes with a little pause after the 'Oh', then a vehement 'BOTHER" which seems to satisfy the speaker and doesn't upset the audience too much. The hidden meaning is clear
    What hidden meaning now? The same as when one uses 'oh brother!' you mean to say? the 'oh my, oh gosh, oh dear' meaning?

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    #8

    Re: 'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

    Oh...sorry!, I didn't see the previous post explaining the difference in the tw expressions. Now I get it, thanks!

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    #9

    Re: 'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

    Other teachers have explained the different usages, Agnes. I'll just add - perhaps not necessarily - that the vowel sound in the first syllable differs:
    bother /ɔ/ ; brother /ʌ/ .

    b

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