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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 then – apparently overcome with additional feeling – felt compelled to add two more:
Oh là là là là ! (pause) là là !
Rare: ouh là là, hou là là
In French, oh là là does not have any sort of sexy or risqué connotation, unlike the English version "ooh la la." See more garbled French expressions.
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