Shut up! = Oh wow! That’s great!

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by DreamerX, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. DreamerX Member

    In American English (which also greatly influences Canadian usage), people may react to wonderful or surprising (not necessarily in a positive way) news by exclaiming, “Shut up!” The catch is that this is also a rude way of telling somebody to be quiet. I was wondering whether the equivalent of “Shut up!” is also used as a spontaneous reaction that means, “Oh wow! That’s really awesome!” or “You’re kidding!” in your native language. If not, is there another “rude” remark that might be used to express jubilation or surprise?


    “Chris asked the head cheerleader to the prom at lunch.”

    “SHUT UP!”
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  2. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I suppose the Dutch use that: hou op (stop it, lit. 'hold up'), te gek (too crazy).

    We can observe quite often that negative words are considered more powerful and therefore more useful as intensifiers... Think of 'awfully good' (if that can be used), 'terribly well', etc. (See Gavril's thread on 'crazy' and my question regarding 'very', etc., at EHL)
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  3. Perseas Senior Member

    In Greek it is "σώπα" /'sopa/, 2nd person imperative of the verb "σωπαίνω" /so'peno/. (The noun "σιωπή" /si.o'pi/ means "silence").
    Literally it means "stop talking". It can also be used ironically expressing lack of surprise (maybe "so what else is new") or even this reaction which is in OP described as “Oh wow! That’s really awesome!” or “You’re kidding!”.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  4. arielipi Senior Member

    in hebrew we say something that is more like get out.
    לא נכון!
    lo nachon!
    that is not right/true!
  5. DreamerX Member

    By the way, “Get out!” is also used in American English! :)
  6. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    What I can think of in Chinese Mandarin slang is
    "废话!" ("Waste words!")
    "还用说!" ("Need to say?")
    They just mean the thing is too obvious, must be like that, and they're only used to respond someone else's opinion.
  7. swintok Senior Member

    English - Canada
    This is a very generational phrase that in my Canadian English I associate with teenage girls, pretentious divas, and other poseurs, though it is becoming more common. I'm in my 40s and am still very shocked to hear "shut up!" used in this context. I'm also quite offended (or at least very annoyed) when someone says it to me in this context.
  8. Euganeo New Member

    In Italy you can express it with a long "Noooooooooooooooo!" or "Non mi dire!" (Don't tell me!)
  9. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    It's funny that apparently in English "tell me about it" means "it's too obvious and you don't have to tell me".
  10. francisgranada Senior Member

    Ma va! or Ma va là! do not work in this situation?
  11. Euganeo New Member

    Yes! But it depends on the tone you use! "Ma va!" "Ma va là" ando also "Ma dai!" can express wonder or scepticism depending on the context and the tone.
  12. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French, we wouldn't have anything like this. The closest would be:
    "Naaaan !" (= "non" (no) with a sloppy pronunciation)
    or very colloquially:
    "Tu déconnes" (you're kidding)
    "Sans déconner ? / Sans déc ?" (No kidding?)
  13. DreamerX Member

    It’s definitely a fixture now among teenagers, mostly with girls but not necessarily. I don’t know if it’s creeping into common use among older age groups, but I did hear a few middle-aged women say it in this context when they were overcome with excitement about something. I also agree with you about “pretentious divas and other poseurs.”

    I might be wrong, but it seems to me as if today’s youth are more prone to dropping filler words in their conversation than young people of my generation were. We did not always express our thoughts in grammatically correct sentences, but I don’t ever recall replacing “He said that…” or “He told me that…” with “He’s, like, (…)” The heavy presence of “you know’s” in the course of a discussion is also kind of jarring to my ear. The semantic shift of “Shut up!” and “Get out!” seems to be part of the change taking place in the way young people talk. However, I am an optimist at heart and therefore reserve the notion that I have simply not met very many modern teenagers :).

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