from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • interj. Used to express acknowledgement of a minor accident, blunder, or mistake.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. Acknowledging a minor mistake.
  • interj. Used sarcastically to acknowledge a major mistake.


A presumably 'natural' exclamation, only attested since 1933, possibly altered to (or from) whoops (attested since 1933) (Wiktionary)


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