from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A chorus of sorrow or distress
  • interj. A cry of sorrow or distress


Of Irish origin; originally began as a hunting cry. (Wiktionary)


  • And with that there comes a voice crying pillaloo in the passage outside; and, without so much as a knock, a woman runs in with a face like a sheet -- Sam Hockaday's wife, from the "Sailor's Return."

    News from the Duchy

  • Dr. Macann and Mr. Saule behind it bowing and smiling in a two-horse shay, and a fine pillaloo of supporters.

    Two Sides of the Face Midwinter Tales

  • So you may fancy the pillaloo that went up when the Overseers posted their new assessment on the church door and 'twas found they'd ruled out no less than sixty voters known, or suspected to be, in Dr. Macann's interest.

    Two Sides of the Face Midwinter Tales


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Apparently began as a hunting cry.

    June 11, 2012

  • As it appears in the chorus of the well-known Irish song "Tá an poc ar buile" (The billygoat (puck) is hopping mad!):

    "Aililiú, puililiú! Ai-li-liú!
    Tá an poc ar buile!"

    What can we deduce about the distribution of vowels before and after consonants in Gaelic from the above snippet?

    February 23, 2009

  • Woe! The price of potatoes has increased! My pet leprechaun has bunions! They're bringing in a tax on the colour green! Alas!

    February 23, 2009

  • Irish English: alas! woe!; a cry of distress, a howl; an uproar.

    April 6, 2008