I heard or read various expressions starting with 'Oh my' such as

Oh, my god!

Oh, my gosh!

Oh, my brother!

Oh, my dad!

Oh, my heart!

Oh, my word!

or simply 'Oh, my!'

From dictionary search, 'Oh my god' expresses surprise or asking for help. For example, 'Oh, my god' might mean I get so much surprised and I don't know what to do. Please, help me, god.

But then, when it goes to the expression of 'Oh, my word', I don't know how I can even interpret it. Do natives intend any specific meaning or attitude when they say those phrases? Or do the expressions have no meaning intended except the surprise and they say those by habit?

  • 1
    You can look up "my word" at Merriam-Webster. The word "oh" is just an additional interjection. Aug 8, 2020 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


It is simply an idiom expressing surprise, and the third word has no literal meaning. Which any given person uses can probably be attributed to the regional dialect where they grew up.

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    Oh, my life! Oh, my days! Oh, my giddy aunt! etc etc My own father used to say Oh, my godfathers! the word (or words) after 'my' can make a minced oath Aug 8, 2020 at 20:14

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