woe » whoa

Chiefly in:   Whoa is me!, the whoas of ...

Classification: English – idiom-related

Spotted in the wild:

  • gah, im getting those problems today! whoa is me! wow, talk about a jinx………GRRRR (WordPress support forum)
  • Dang, I’m ruined I’ll never be able to post here again. Whoa is me. Cats are man’s best friend, they just won’t stoop to admitting it. (link)

This might sometimes be difficult to distinguish from a simple misspelling. But the relative obscurity of the word _woe_ and the unusual syntax of the original expression make this a very likely eggcorn. In particular when the writer has used another interjection in the immediate vicinity, a sense of startled dismay emerges.

Pointed out to me on IRC by [Craig Hartel](nuclearmoose.com).

See also _woeth me_.

[Arnold Zwicky, 14 August 2007: Mark Peters has now used “Jabberwocky: Whoa Is Me!” as the title of his babble column on children’s eggcorns (babble is “a magazine and community for the new urban parent”).]

[Arnold Zwicky, 11 December 2008: Bob Ray writes to report “the whoas of accessibility” in a forum discussion on accessibility. Other examples of “the whoas of X” can be googled up: X = teaching, free software, our nation, politics, motherhood, …]

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2005/01/12 |

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