Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Mar 2 21:47:16 UTC 2007

For "caramba / carumba" ?


Steve Hartman Keiser <s.hartman.keiser at MARQUETTE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Steve Hartman Keiser
Subject: Umba!

I=B9m curious about the interjection =B3umba!=B2 (mid-central vowels in both
syllables, stress on first syllable, second syllable can be lengthened).

I recall using this as a child (Cedar Falls, IA circa 1975) when someone wa=
doing something that would or should get them in trouble. As in =B3Umba!
You=B9re gonna get it now!=B2 or =B3Umba! I can=B9t believe you just said that!=B2 o=
just =B3Umbaaa!=B2

Has anyone else heard this? Is there regional/social variation in the form
of this set of interjections? I think something along the lines of
=B3ooooooo=B2 (high back tense vowel) with rising or rise/fall intonation is
pretty common these days.

Steve Hartman Keiser
Assistant Professor. Linguistics.
English Department, Marquette University

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