I know the verb bother as in "I didn't bother testing" or the noun bother as in "it's no bother", but this is the first time I encounter this word as a kind of interjection or single-word sentence, written by a native:

Note that in casual testing this 'worked', because backspace deletes the pawn and together. Bother.

What is the meaning of "Bother."? What nuance does it add to the paragraph, which would be missed if it had not been added?

I can't find this usage on Wiktionary.

The context is the following: He is the guy who is managing bugs, so this bug might bother him, or maybe he now regrets that he did not bother writing a more complete test.

  • 4
    I think it's definition 8 in Collins: (mainly British) an exclamation of slight annoyance – snailcar May 10 '13 at 2:24
  • 1
    If you can't find it on Wiktionary, then use a real dictionary: M-W or Macmillan. Wiktionary is not the best place to look for usage information or definitions. It has some value, but not enough to satisfy me. – user264 May 10 '13 at 2:40
  • 1
    @snailboat As popularized in the U.S. by Winnie the Pooh! ;) – WendiKidd May 10 '13 at 21:19
  • Wikitionary has the interjection use: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bother#Interjection – James K Jun 1 '16 at 6:50

snailboat has found the answer:


exclamation (mainly British) an exclamation of slight annoyance

|improve this answer|||||
  • 3
    "Bother", said Pooh. "There's an infinite number of monkeys at the door who want to sue A.A. Milne for plagiarism". – FakeDIY May 10 '13 at 8:43
  • Pooh is the only place I've ever heard that expression. – Ron Jensen - We are all Monica May 3 '16 at 23:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.