When it hurts

As someone who has accumulated a few European languages, I'm fascinated by the different sound each language has for that sudden moment of pain - hitting your thumb with a hammer, or falling on an icy pavement. The Scots word for such moments is 'oooya', pronounced with the stress on the first syllable.

I spotted this advertisement today for the minor injuries clinic at Edinburgh's Western General Hospital. It was in the row of small ads above the windows on the lower deck of a number 23 bus. With our scenic and unprecedented amount of snow there were plenty of cameras being wielded as we came down the Mound, past the fairy tale turreted houses of Ramsay Gardens, and the white-clothed bulk of the castle rock. Except I was the only weirdo taking a photo of the inside of the bus.

Nice to know that someone in the National Health Service has both a sense of humour and a grasp of Scots. And no, your eyes don't need testing. The blurring is because of the vibration of the bus.


  1. Linda, just make sure you don't say "oooya" anytime soon! You take care and many warm thoughts from here to there!

  2. we say "ouille-ouille-ouille !!!

  3. You just gave me a giggle when I really needed it, what a brilliant sign! In Canada in general we say 'Ouch!', but French Canadians in the province of Quebec also say 'Ayoye!'.

  4. Well, what do you know? I'm learning something new today! We say "ouch" or "ow". Maybe you already knew that about Americans, just thought I'd share. Do you know any other words different countries use? I never would have thought about this!

  5. Here in the U.S., the sound is OWWW. I uttered that sound last night, when I knocked my toe against the leg of the ottoman!

  6. I love it!! "oooya"!!
    I guess here in Texas we say...
    OW! Daggumit! Ouch! and mostly...'dam!' I like the sound of "oooya" better!

  7. Hi Linda,
    Very funny. And very quick with the camera I might add! I have just this particular blog of yours and Amanda and myself have enjoyed going over the previous posts. I think that I saw the beginnings of a tear in her eye when we looked at the photos of Edinburgh in the snow this year. She has told me many tales of such times when she lived there in Craigleith Road.


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