ai-ai-ai (aye-aye-AYE) listen


  • interj. An exclamation of admiration or surprise.

  • interj. An exclamation of pity or dismay.

  • interj. An exclamation denoting scorn and sarcasm.

Example Sentences

  • Sarcastic: “So he’s on the committee for the annual picnic. Ai-ai-ai.” (NJY)

  • “'And I even was in a group who went to the Vatican,” beamed Olinsky, 'where we had an audience with the pope!' 'Ai-ai-ai! The pope! … What does he look like?' 'A fine man, thin, spiritual, I figure a size 38, short.'" (NJY)

Languages of Origin

  • Yiddish


  • אײַ אײַ אײַ

    • Who Uses This

      • Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
      • Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


      • North America


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).

      Alternative Spellings

      ai-yi-yi, ai ai ai, ai yi yi

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