Vocabulary: Reaction Sounds

Let’s look at the reaction sounds we make when we encounter something.  Like, when we touch a hot object, we say ‘Hot!!’ or when we see something disgusting, we say ‘yuck’ and so on. Such sounds are called ‘बिस्मयादिबोधक शब्द’ (bishmayadibodhak shabda) in nepali. Also, there might be more sounds:

Hot!: आत्था (attha)

Cold!: आच्छु (acchhu)

What?: के (ke)

Why?: किन (kina)

Yuck!: छ्या(chyaa)

Ewww!: छि (chhi)

Awesome!: दाम्मी (dammi) 

Ohh: ए (eh)

Yeah: अँ (aah)

Superb!: बबाल (babaal)

Really?: हो र (ho ra)

Wow!: वा (wah)*

Nonsense!: जे पाई तेई (je pai tai)**

Oh Sh*t!: ला! (laa)***


There are also some which have no meaning in english, so I am using approximate situations at when you will use it:

When someone say something annoying unexpectedly, or when a news you don’t like to hear (like someone is ordering you work), you say ‘ह्याँ’(hya). The duration of ‘ya’ can be extended infinitely to convey more annoyance. For example:

Sita: *in thoughts* Ma aja kaam gardina (I won’t work today)

Ishan: Yo kam gar ta (Do this work*gives work*

Sita: Hyaa!


When you are shocked at something because it went beyond your expectations, you say ‘आमामा’(amama). Like above, you can extend ‘ma’ infinitely to express more shock.

*friend gives more chocolates than expected*

Ram: Amama!


When someone does something unexpected OR something unexpected happens to you, which irritates you or shocks you, you say ‘अरे’(aray). It’s something like huh, when you have no idea what happened.

You: Aray? Yo kina bhaena? (huh? Why is this not working?)


When someone makes you go ‘Are you kidding me’ or ‘you are joking, right?’ or ‘are you serious’ kind of feeling, then you say ‘हरे’(haray).

Ram: Yo kasari garne? (How do you do this?) *5th time ask*

Sita: Haray! Kasto nabujheko? (Haray! Why aren’t you understanding?)


When someone says something something disbelievable or you don’t believe it, you say “ (eeee). It is actually spelt like alphabet ‘e’ and people write ‘e’ only. This is usually followed by ’kha’ (eat!) so literally, it is e kha! (eat e). You can also extend it indefinitely to convey more disbelief. 

Ram: Maile 5000 rupee kamako ni, hijo. (I earned 5000 rs yesterday!)

Sita: E kha! 


When someone says something forbidden or says something that you have to disprove, you say ‘धत’(dhat). Example:

Hari: Ram lai kutnu parcha! (We should beat up Ram)

Jhanke: Dhat! Testo pani kai garcha? (Dhat! Is that even something to do?)


When you are shocked due to something happening without your prior knowledge, and that creates a positive reputation on you, you say ‘ओहो’ (oho).

Ram: Oho! Esto dammi po rahecha ta! (oho! This is this awesome?)

*You can double or even triple it for more praise 

**In chat, people might say ‘jpai’ or ‘jpt’. They all mean the same. Also, it means ‘saying whatever he/she likes’

***Like, ‘Oh sh*t! I forgot to do it!’, it has a similar use, except it’s not vulgar.