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  1. #1
    Agnes is offline Member
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    Default '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??

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default 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!"

  3. #3
    Agnes is offline Member
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    Default Re: 'Oh bother!' or 'Oh brother!'???

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

  4. #4
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    Default 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.

  5. #5
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default 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'.

  6. #6
    curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default 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

  7. #7
    Agnes is offline Member
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    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?

  8. #8
    Agnes is offline Member
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    Default 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!

  9. #9
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    Default 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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