For most of us, the famous Indian slang “Aiyo” is not a word but an emotion. It has been around for so long that most of us don’t know where it came from. But do you know what else we don’t know about this word?
The word “Aiyo” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary five years ago, in 2016 with a description of “In southern India and Sri Lanka, expressing distress, regret, or grief; ‘Oh no!’, ‘Oh dear!'”— is being taken to task for being “pithy,” “emasculating all [the word’s] colorful possibilities,” “reduc[ing] it to cud,” and “suck[ing] the life out of it”.
Yes, most of us were unaware of this because “aiyo” was quietly inducted into the dictionary in 2016. Only a few Indian news outlets, such as The Indian Express, covered this story.
Aiyo is clearly a powerful word with a colourful history, a word that arose from a South Asian melting pot. It’s fully loaded, and the Oxford English Dictionary hasn’t gone into the numerous regional variants — aiyyo, ayyia, uyyo, and the rare, mortified ujjo.
On the list, we also have another slang for “aiyo,” namely “aiyoyo,” which has yet to make its way into the Oxford English Dictionary.
What other slangs do you think should be included? Let us know in the comments section below.