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exclamation

Examples of exclamations in American English

Definition:

A sudden, forceful expression or cry. Adjective: exclamatory.

The rhetorical term for an exclamation is ecphonesis.

See also:

Examples and Observations:

  • "Cowabunga, dude! How did you ever get so totally cool?"
    (Michaelangelo in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, 1990)


  • "Hey, nice marmot!"
    (The Dude in The Big Lebowski, 1998)


  • Miracle Max: Aahaahh!
    Valerie: Humperdinck! Humperdinck! Humperdinck!
    Miracle Max: I'm not listening!
    (The Princess Bride, 1987)


  • "Everybody, heads up! Heads up! Keep it clear! Okay, down!"
    (Jurassic Park, 1993)


  • "Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love."
    (Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare)


  • "Perforation! Shout it out! The deliberate punctuated weakening of paper and cardboard so that it will tear along an intended path, leaving a row of fine-haired white pills or tuftlets on each new edge!"
    (Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine, 1988)


  • "'I'll tell you what's the matter. They've gone and knighted Robert Blenkinsop!'

    "'They have?' said L.G. Trotter. 'Gosh!'

    "The stricken woman seemed to think 'Gosh!' inadequate.

    "'Is that all you can say?'

    "It wasn't. He now said 'Ba goom!'"
    (P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit , 1954)


  • “Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more. I admit the deed!--tear up the planks!--here, here!--it is the beating of his hideous heart!”
    (Edgar Allan Poe, "The Tell-Tale Heart," 1843)


  • Antiquated Exclamations
    "Before the governor had time to answer this question, Pallet broke forth into an exclamation of 'By the Lord! that is certainly fact, egad! . . . Gadzooks; you're in the right, sir.'"
    (Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, 1751)


    "An' land o' Goshen, you might jest as well set down in the way of a cow-catcher as in front o' the course o' true love when it does git to runnin' smooth."
    (Winifred Arnold, "Mis' Bassett's Matrimonial Bureau." Everybody's Magazine, 1904)


  • "When, from sudden and intense emotion, we give utterance to some abrupt, inverted, or elliptical expression, we are said to use an Exclamation; as 'bravo,' 'dreadful,' 'the fellow,' 'what a pity.'"
    (Alexander Bain, quoted by Alfred H. Welsh in Studies in English Grammar, 1892)


  • Tom Wolfe's Exclamations
    "One of the signature devices of [Tom] Wolfe's style is his periodic bursts of enthusiastic endorsement or identification--'But exactly!' 'Of course!' 'Just right!' While these interruptions are perhaps too playful and ironic to qualify as expressions of what Longinus calls 'vehement and inspired passion,' they do imply the intensity of Wolfe's involvement in the actions he is describing. They contribute to the effect of hypotyposis: it's as if Wolfe is re-experiencing his initial enthusiasms in the present of the essay."
    (Chris Anderson, Style as Argument: Contemporary American Nonfiction. Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1987)


  • "[N]ow the horselaughs come shrieking out across old Sixth Avenue to where all the obedient epopts of old-sampler sentiment are bunched in front of Kaiser's. That was a good hit! Twenty or thirty of them, free squares of New York, bunched together and all conned! gulled! faked out! put on! had! by the Voices of Village Square."
    (Tom Wolfe, "The Voices of Village Square." The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1965)


  • The Lighter Side of Exclamations
    Blackadder: Sir, might I let loose a short violent exclamation?
    Prince George: Certainly.
    Blackadder: [Blackadder moves discreetly sideways, then shouts] Damn!
    (Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Laurie in "Dish and Dishonesty." Black Adder the Third, 1987)
Pronunciation: ex-kla-MAY-shen
Also Known As: ejaculation
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