A List of 100 Interjections in English

Good Golly, Gee Whiz, and Other G-Rated Interjections

Young woman in park at dusk, hands covering mouth
Steve West / Getty Images

Hey! Let's take a look at interjections—or, as they're sometimes called (somewhat misleadingly), exclamations. They're words or phrases that stand apart from the rest of a sentence grammatically (or on their own, without a subject and verb), often used to exclaim.

Elsewhere, we've described interjections as the "outlaws of English grammar":

"Interjections usually stand apart from normal sentences, defiantly maintaining their syntactic independence. (Yeah!) They aren't marked inflectionally for grammatical categories such as tense or number. (No sirree!) And because they show up more frequently in spoken English than in writing, most scholars have chosen to ignore them. (Aw.)"
( "Oh, Wow!: Notes on Interjections")

Still, there are more points worth making before we get down to our G-rated list. (We'll leave it up to you to supply any rude or potentially offensive interjections.) 

Single or Double-Duty Parts of Speech

For a start, interjections have traditionally been treated as one of the eight parts of speech (or word classes). But it's worth keeping in mind that many interjections can do double or triple duty as other parts of speech. For instance, when a word such as boy or awesome appears by itself (often followed by an exclamation point in writing), it functions as an interjection:

  • Boy! You have an answer for everything.
  • The crew chief handed me my first paycheck. "Awesome!" I said.

But when that same word shows up syntactically integrated into a sentence, it usually operates as a different part of speech. In the following examples, boy is a noun, and awesome is an adjective:

  • The boy ate a Snickers bar.
  • Seeing the northern lights for the first time was an awesome experience.

Words that are used only as interjections are called primary interjections, while words that also belong to other word classes are called secondary interjections

Oh! I almost forgot. Here's something else to look out for. The meanings of interjections sometimes change depending on the context in which they're used.

The word oh, for example, may indicate surprise, disappointment, or delight:

  • Oh! I didn't see you sitting there.
  • Oh. I was hoping you could stay for a while.
  • Oh! I'm so glad you came!

100 Interjections List

As you read through this list, see if you can pick out the interjections that have more than one meaning or usage or can be used in more than one way. Additional spellings or usages are listed in parentheses.

  1. ah
  2. a-ha
  3. ahem
  4. alas
  5. amen
  6. aw
  7. awesome
  8. bada bing
  9. bah
  10. baloney
  11. big deal
  12. bingo
  13. boo
  14. boohoo
  15. booya
  16. boy (boy oh boy)
  17. bravo
  18. brilliant
  19. brrr
  20. bull
  21. bye (bye-bye)
  22. cheers
  23. come on (c'mon)
  24. cool
  25. cowabunga
  26. dang
  27. darn (darn it)
  28. dear me
  29. duck
  30. duh
  31. eh
  32. enjoy
  33. excellent
  34. fabulous
  35. fantastic
  36. fiddledeedee
  37. finally
  38. for heaven's sake(s)
  39. fore
  40. foul
  41. freeze
  42. gee (gee whiz, gee willikers)
  43. giddyap (giddyup)
  44. golly (good golly, golly gee willikers)
  45. goodbye
  46. good grief
  47. good heavens
  48. gosh
  49. great
  50. great balls of fire
  51. ha
  52. hallelujah
  53. heavens (heavens above, heavens to Betsy)
  54. heigh-ho
  55. hello
  56. help
  57. hey (hey there)
  58. hi (hiya)
  59. hip, hip, hooray
  60. hmm
  61. ho ho ho
  62. holy mackerel (holy moley, holy Moses, holy smokes)
  63. ho-hum
  64. hooray (hurrah, hurray)
  65. howdy (howdy do)
  66. huh
  67. ick
  68. indeed
  69. jeez
  70. kaboom
  71. kapow
  72. lordy (lordy, lordy)
  73. mama mia
  74. man
  75. marvelous
  76. my
  77. my goodness (my heavens, my stars, my word)
  78. nah
  79. no problem
  80. no way (no way José)
  81. nope
  82. nuts
  83. oh (oh boy, oh dear, oh my, oh my gosh, oh my goodness, oh no, oh well)
  1. OK (okay)
  2. ouch
  3. ow
  4. please
  5. poof
  6. shh
  7. super
  8. swell
  9. welcome
  10. well
  11. whoop-de-doo
  12. woo-hoo
  13. wow
  14. yabba dabba doo
  15. yadda, yadda, yadda
  16. yippee
  17. yummy