I’ve been using this word a lot lately. Or so my wife has pointed out to me.
I’m not sure where I first learned it. She thinks I even have my sons saying it now, but it may have been the other way around. I don’t know.
It’s a useful word.
When I’m watching football and there’s a crushing tackle, I say ‘oof’.
When our dog Annie is chasing her toy and slides into the wall, I say ‘oof’.
When I’m building something in the garage and the drill bit snaps, I say…..
Well, I might say ‘oof’.
Oof works well for unexpected events. But in pointing out that I’ve been using it A LOT, Jenni challenged me that it wasn’t even a word. Like I said, I don’t know where I learned it so I couldn’t challenge that.
But then last week we were traveling in the car. I remember it clearly. We were traveling a very steady pace, about 8 DG/hr. (That’s Dollar Generals per hour.) Then the nice lady on the radio said that ‘oof’ was a new word according to dictionary.com. I can report that there was a tremendous amount of fist-pumping, arm-raising, and other acts of jubilation, at least until we reached the next Dollar General and then I was distracted. I did learn that I had been spelling it wrong in my mind all this time. I had envisioned “ooof” but technically it is “oof”.
I wondered how new of a word ‘oof’ was. Would you believe Mr. Webster also has it in his dictionary? It says there that the origin was 1777. That means when the British surrendered at the Battle of Saratoga, George Washington likely uttered “oof, that was a battle”.
So, whether it is a new word or a very old one enjoying a renaissance, I think it’s here to stay.