In North America, using "whoa" this way signifies that one is overwhelmed or taken aback by what he/she is hearing and needs a moment to regroup their faculties in order mentally to process what is being communicated.Can you give us an example of how it's used in the US - perhaps a sample conversation?
No. That is a 'stop' sign for literate horses. No surprise involved there.
Isn't this the expression popularized by the Bill and Ted movies? I'm hearing a "dude"...Can you give us an example of how it's used in the US - perhaps a sample conversation?
I think what Mole means is that it would be noticeably an Americanism if used among Britons.
- Isn't that a fundament of languages?
- Isn't that also a serious problem to languages?
Could we sum up the difference between "Wow!" and "Whoa!" as the first only expressing positive surprise and the second expressing either positive or negative amazement?I think its meaning is governed by the tone of voice.
The word "Oh" can be substituted if you use the right tone of voice for a whole panoply of words.
"Whoa" could, with the right tone of voice mean:
"Whoa" is a simple interjection; it is the tone of voice that controls the meaning. In writing it is more difficult, but can be expressed with an added phrase.
- What does that mean?
- She's hot!
- Nice car!
"Whoa!" he said in admiration of the bright red Ferrari 599 GT.