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"Josh got caught... awww-deeeeeee!"
April 24, 2011 8:56 PM   Subscribe

As a kid, did you say, "aww-dee" when someone got in trouble?

The setting was early '90s, New Jersey or North Carolina, I can't remember which, possibly both. The age group was elementary school. Whenever someone got in trouble with a teacher (or did something that should get them in trouble), someone would say, "aww-dee!" I think other kids would often join in, drawing out the "dee" into, "aww-deeeeee!"

The catch: no one I've brought this up to has ever remembered it. My parents don't remember it, no one I would have been in school with at the time remembers it. I've tried googling for it but I just find discussions on how to pronounce "Audi"! When I bring this up to people they look at me like I've grown an extra head.

So, MetaFilter, can you lay some truth on me? Did this ever really happen or is this a childhood fantasy I've mistaken for fact?
posted by srrh to Writing & Language (47 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
For me, it was always an "Ooooooooooooooooo..." noise. Never heard of "awww-deeeee..."
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:00 PM on April 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


This happened around me in Northern Virginia, maybe around 1994? Playground bastardization of "aw damn" I presume. Joking, mocking sort of connotation. But it was just a single remark, not a crowing chorus like you've described.
posted by Mizu at 9:02 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not in the US, so can't confirm your experience, but I can tell you that in Australia it's "Umm-aaaaaah" (though without people joining in, IIRC)... such that a shorter "umaah" can simply mean "Oh, you've done a naughty thing", and can even be used (generally ironically) by adults. I don't know anyone Australian who doesn't remember this, and I don't know anyone who knows the origins of those particular syllables.
posted by pompomtom at 9:02 PM on April 24, 2011


When I was a kid in southern Ontario the equivalent phrase was more like "umm-baaa".
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:02 PM on April 24, 2011


For me it was definitely "Oooooooooo!" with the tone rising rapidly toward the end; I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs. And it was definitely a chorus of every kid around; I have strong memories of teachers having to suppress outbreaks of it after dealing with even minor infractions among their students.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:07 PM on April 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Close to sevenyearlurk, we said "um-brrrrrrrrr!" This was in Colorado/Wyoming in the '70s.
posted by scody at 9:07 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


two lights above the sea: "For me, it was always an "Ooooooooooooooooo..." noise. Never heard of "awww-deeeee...""

Seconding this (NYC, 80s), often followed by a rhyming "Shame on you!"
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:10 PM on April 24, 2011


Growing up in Georgia in the 90s it was ah-woo-woo. I've never heard of aww-deeee, though now I'm working myself into fits of moronic giggles thinking about DEEZ nuts.
posted by phunniemee at 9:24 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


DC area in the early 80's a bunch of kids would go "awwwwwwwwww" in a way that built for five seconds, then we'd all say "Freak Out!"

We had surprisingly good taste for our ages.
posted by bardic at 9:27 PM on April 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Australia, 70s & 80s: Ummmm-mah!
posted by b33j at 9:39 PM on April 24, 2011


Also DC area, early 80s, also, awwwwwwwww....., no "Freak Out."
posted by escabeche at 9:42 PM on April 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Massachusetts late 80s/early 90s: burned! Toasted! Daaaammmn! Oooooooo. Daaayyyaaam!

Never hear. Awww deee
Maybe its conservative speak for"Aw damn"?
posted by KogeLiz at 9:57 PM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Was an early 90s Jerseyan. Never heard of this. "OoooOOOOOooo" was the order of the day.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:01 PM on April 24, 2011


Eighties, Vancouver BC. We had nothing, just extra silence.
posted by meringue at 10:04 PM on April 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


80s/90s San Francisco, what two lights above the sea and tomorrowful said.
posted by MattMangels at 10:27 PM on April 24, 2011


Oops that should be 90s/00s San Francisco.
posted by MattMangels at 10:28 PM on April 24, 2011


LOL 80s/90s London "Ohwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww"
posted by Not Supplied at 11:04 PM on April 24, 2011


Whenever someone got called to the office (for any reason, good or bad) everyone would make the "oooooOOOOOoooo" noise as described above.

Mid 80s to the early 90s. American elementary schools in Germany and the Western US.
posted by TooFewShoes at 11:09 PM on April 24, 2011


Definitely heard "aww-dee" as a kid, but I don't remember where. Was in elementary school in the mid eighties/early 90s in ... Oklahoma, suburban Maryland, Germany and Mississippi. Seems like something I remember from the base and/or from Maryland.
posted by brina at 11:19 PM on April 24, 2011


another jersey kid, mid 90s, "ooooooOOOOO"
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 11:48 PM on April 24, 2011


80s/90s UK "oooOOOoooo-um!" (The first sound is an extended version of the 'oh' sound in 'hot', not the longer 'oo' sound from 'hoot'.) You'd pull your lower lip inside your mouth for the finale. If the crime had been a particularly serious one, you needed to look as if you were basically eating your entire chin.
posted by the latin mouse at 1:23 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


80s Northern Ireland: "awww awww awww!", "aww" pronounced like the first syllable of "ought". It generally carried an implication of "You have done a naughty thing and I am going to tell the teacher/your parents".
posted by doop at 1:58 AM on April 25, 2011


Not particular familiar to me, but "aww-dee" sounds pretty similar to "naughty", said by a 1 year old (or thereabouts).
posted by antiquark at 2:47 AM on April 25, 2011


South Georgia, early-mid nineties: "Ah-woo-woo!" I've actually discussed this with peers raised in less rural parts of the world, and they've all agreed that this is really weird.
posted by honeydew at 2:52 AM on April 25, 2011


In my school on a British military base in Germany, the kids all used to say "Awww-mer" (or ahhh-muh, depending on the kid's accent), in much the same fashion - when somebody did something wrong, a kid would say "awww-mer!", and a bunch of others would join in. Perhaps it's a military kid thing? When we went to a regular school back in the UK, absolutely nobody said it, or had even heard of it.
posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo at 4:23 AM on April 25, 2011


Texas in the 90s, we had "Um-mum-um-um-um!" Exactly that many number of "ums."
posted by Nixy at 4:30 AM on April 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ontario 1980s, "eeee-uh". I suspect this is somehow a Portuguese or Italian version as those were the dominant ethnicities in the neighbourhood. Funny, I was just remembering this "word" a couple of days ago.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:00 AM on April 25, 2011


I know people in NYC who still say "aw dip" when something goes wrong or someone gets in trouble. Could "aw dee" but a reinterpretation of that? Sort of like the slang where one would say "I put my P in her V."
posted by laptolain at 5:02 AM on April 25, 2011


The greatest joy I've had in the last six weeks was when I was in a gov't office and the office manager paged someone to their office, and the entire staff erupted in a "ooooooOOO" just like when I was in grade school in the 80's.

"Aww-dee" sounds like a a kids version of "awww deeayum" which is a over-Jersey-ification of aww damn.
posted by gjc at 5:28 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


St. Louis mid-late eighties, just awwwwwwww.
posted by songs about trains at 6:13 AM on April 25, 2011


In rural Tennessee in the 80s we had the shame noise, for use when someone had done something likely to get them in trouble and also for things like (say) opening up an art history book and finding a picture of a naked lady: "Aaah uuhh AAAWW" -- first syllable in a middle register, second a lower tone, and the third way up high and drawn out. Could also be done quietly with a closed mouth using 'umms.'
posted by frobozz at 6:23 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


80s/90s, North Carolina, never heard "awww-deeee." Lots of "ooooooOOOOOOO," frequently followed with "BUSTed!"
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:32 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a lifelong "ooooooOOOOOO"-er (late '80s, early '90s NYC) I am pleasantly astonished to see that this differs regionally. I think these answers would benefit from sound recordings, though.

Not to thread-jack, but did those of you who said "awwww" also make the same noise when, e.g., there was kissing in a movie? Or is that a standardized "oooooOOOOO"?
posted by enlarged to show texture at 6:39 AM on April 25, 2011


Kansas/Missouri Early/Mid 90s: um-mum-mum-mum-mum!
posted by chara at 6:50 AM on April 25, 2011


Funny, in North Dakota in the late 80's/early 90's we all said: Awwwwwwwww-VER
posted by Windigo at 7:28 AM on April 25, 2011


90's NC here. It was almost always a long, drawn-out "ooh" as in "ooh la la" but obviously not the "la la" part. I have never heard of awww-deeeee before.

Oh, some times it was the beginning of that classical song that goes... dun dun dun dunnnnnnn.
posted by ForeverDcember at 7:56 AM on April 25, 2011


I've never heard this, but I do remember kids calling detention "Dee." So, maybe it's a reference to that?
posted by Dojie at 8:36 AM on April 25, 2011


Windigo, in North Dakota in the mid-70's, I remember something very similar, only I would have transcribed it as Ahhh-VER.

It's funny, I think I just mentioned this to my partner within the last week or two, and she (from Michigan) had never heard of it.
posted by SomePerlGeek at 10:03 AM on April 25, 2011


All these comments and I only see about 4 who have actually addressed the question. Allow me to be the 5th:

Nope, never heard of it.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:08 AM on April 25, 2011


Could it be "oh, dear"?
posted by bambola at 11:10 AM on April 25, 2011


You just took me way, way back! I was Jersey border area of PA and we definitely said that. Nthing suggestions it was a kid-colloquial version of "awwww daaaaaaamn!"
posted by OompaLoompa at 5:21 PM on April 25, 2011


I recall from infant / early junior school in southern UK, early 1960s, they'd say "Wheeee ... ummm."
posted by raygirvan at 6:18 PM on April 25, 2011


Feeling like an alien because I've never heard of any of these.
posted by tangerine at 12:30 PM on April 26, 2011


I LOVE these answers. Most of them are hilarious to me! "Whee-umm"?! "Umm-brr"?! But I imagine "aww-dee" must sound just as crazy to the rest of you! ;) Thanks everyone - I now feel reasonably sure we were all saying "aww-dee," but if we weren't we were surely saying something just as ludicrous and that's good enough for me!
posted by srrh at 4:36 AM on April 27, 2011


enlarged to show texture: "As a lifelong "ooooooOOOOOO"-er (late '80s, early '90s NYC) I am pleasantly astonished to see that this differs regionally. I think these answers would benefit from sound recordings, though."

Seconding this. To the extent I ever even would have thought about such a thing, I would have assumed that "oooooooOOOOOOO" was universal. How delightful that it is not!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:19 PM on April 28, 2011


Northern irish kids in the eighties said awdee awdee awdee.
posted by Tapioca at 4:53 AM on May 2, 2011


So late to the thread, but as a Texan, I had assumed Uhmmmmmmmmmmmm or the variant Uhm-mum-mum-mum-mum was universal. This is the kind of thing that makes me wish I had studied linguistics.
posted by threeturtles at 2:28 PM on May 23, 2011


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