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Classic French Expression
|Meaning||wow, oh my, oh no|
|Literally||oh there there|
|Pronunciation||[oh lah lah]|
|IPA||[o la la]|
Usage notes: English speakers probably say it more than anyone, but oh là là is still a classic French phrase / exclamation used to express a fairly strong reaction, whether good or bad: excitement, surprise, disappointment, etc.
|Oh là là ! C’est une grande nouvelle !||Wow, that’s great news!|
|Oh là là ! Quelle catastrophe !||Oh no, what a disaster!|
It’s not uncommon for additional pairs of là to be tacked on, for emphasis. They tend to be spoken very quickly – the most I’ve ever heard was eight là‘s in rapid-fire French:
Oh là là là là là là là là !
But the best by far was when I heard someone say là four times, and he was then apparently overcome with additional feeling so felt compelled to add two more:
Oh là là là là ! (pause) là là !
Rare: ouh là là, hou là là