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Where do yikes and other small interjections come from

A discussion of slang and the changes it undergoes.

yikes

Postby melissa » Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:57 am

Maybe on topic, was just looking at how different languages express laughter, probably the closest we come to barking. It seems we are pretty much in agreement lately, even as far as mwahahaha as the evil maniacal laugh. It may be due to comics and other mass media, because most languages have older forms which seem to have been replaced by more modern ones.
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Postby dsteve54 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:05 pm

Reading about these animal sounds did cause my thoughts to drift as to how one might say the sound of a watch or clock in other languages.

We would say "tick-tock" in English ( I GUESS it is spelled "tock"?!?!); I was trying to figure out how to say it in Russian.

If one says "tock", it would be interpreted as the adverb "so" in the Russian language.

There is really no short "i" sound in Russian, so you can't really say "tick" per say. If a Russian tries to say "tick", they may have to say, effectively, "teek", which can mean "teak" (wood), a nervous "tic" (close, but no cigar), or ticking (which I guess has to do with 'cloth'). The only other close vowels would effectively be saying "tech", as in "technology", and that means nothing in Russian.

I think the only other plausible vowel might effectively create the sound "tyek"....and that is "sort of" close to the cognate for "text", but really does not mean anything by itself. That is about it.

I can probably unearth a Russian in my area who could answer this specific question. But analagously, I did wonder how this would be expressed in other languages.

Of course, that opens the door to wondering about any number of words: "vroom!" for gunning an engine, etc.
Known in restaurant circles by quasi-Thai moniker, "That Guy" (e.g. heard in the back.."that guy is here again"; "that guy on/at table 10"; "that guy is going for a sirloin again", etc.)

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