1. lluvia Member

    Hola a todos.

    I have seen the exclamation of "Ay Caramba" a lot.
    I beleive this term is very common in Mexico.
    Whay does this term mean.

    I the Word Reference dictionary I found that caramba means

    [caramba= excl familiar (sorpresa) good grief!
    (enfado) damn it!]

    What does "Ay Caramba" mean.
    Thank you.
  2. beatrizg Senior Member

    Athens, Greece
    Colombia, Spanish
    I don't think the word “caramba” has a specific meaning.
    We also use it a lot in Colombia.

    I think it could have originated as an alternative to the stronger expression “carajo” which is considered offensive.
    But the truth is I’m guessing. Let’s wait to see if other foreros have different opinions.
  3. Alido Member

    Hi lluvia!
    "Caramba" is an exclamation which shows surprise either positive or negative. It could be equivalent to the English expression "oh, my god!".
  4. Carlos Martínez Riera

    Carlos Martínez Riera Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    The closest equivalent I can think of is gee!, but I'd hesitate to say they fully match each other.


    EVAVIGIL Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    Your guess was right, Beatriz! :)

    See what the RAE has to say:
    (Eufem. por carajo).
    1. interj. Denota extrañeza o enfado.


  6. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    It's a bit stronger than "gee". More like "blimey!" in British English.

    It's used in Portuguese, also.
  7. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    That expression "ay caramba" or maybe "ay carumba" was used a lot by Bart Simpson. So maybe you should ask the Simpsons cartoon writers. I suppose that's something often heard in California where many mexican immigrants live.

    On the other hand "ay" means very little by itself and it can be used to reinforce many exclamations, not really adding any meaning, for example :

    ¡ ay qué bien !
    ¡ ay Dios mío !
  8. Barbara S. Senior Member

    The English equivalent might be "Oh fudge" or "Shucks" or "Darn" or "Heck" - In other words, it's the polite way of saying an impolite word.
  9. Sr.Mendoza Member

    San Antonio
    Mexico, Spanish
    Tengo una duda.

    ¿Se puede usar caramba como reaccón positiva(excitación), o solamente negativa(enfado)?

    Por ejemplo, ¿es correcto decir: ¡Caramba! Cocinar puede ser toda una aventura, cuando una persona reacciona alegremente porque acaba de preparar sola la primera cena para su novio/a?
  10. aurilla Senior Member

    Puerto Rico
    Am Eng/PR Spanish
    "Caramba" is also a common expression in Puerto Rico. It is the "clean" version of saying "carajo", which in many countries is considered vulgar. You could say it is the equivalent of saying "heck" instead of "Hell" or "Darn" in place of "Damn".
  11. robertov Senior Member

    espanol Washington DC
    Sin ninguna relación (perdónenme). La palabra ‘caramba’ tiene otros significados en el DRAE, que yo no conocía. Pero, y ésta es mi pregunta, yo la había escuchado con un significado parecido a “bruja” que no aparece en DRAE. ¿Hay alguien que conozca este significado o yo estaba soñando?
  12. Jorge Gonza Member

    Lima, Peru
    Peru, Spanish
    Boy! = Caramba!

    EVAVIGIL Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish

    He encontrado que en Asturias (Norte de España):

    No es exactamente una bruja, pero sí un significado diferente...


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