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Why do we say 'ow'?

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    I was in a maths lesson today and my friend hit his hand rather awkwardly on the table, and shouted 'ow' straight away.

    Then, all of a sudden, the thread title came to my mind.

    So, why do we say 'ow' when we feel pain/discomfort straight afterwards?

    -do we learn it from childhood
    -involuntary response
    -other people say it, so we say it too?

    Do you say 'ow' when you feel pain?

    Odd question, perhaps :holmes: but really would like to hear your opinions
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    No, I tend to say '**** **** **** BASTARD MOTHER****ER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
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    Sometimes I say ow before they've hit me. You've got to be ready to make your case at all times.
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    I say this when I injure myself.

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    haaha this is so true! never thought of this before! I think it's just something we've all become so used to at an early age!
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    Hmmm. interesting question. It is definately a conscious decision. I would probably say it warns others of dangers or that you have been hurt increasing your chances of survival.
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    i think its the 3rd one, we ust have heard it somewere and learned it like that....
    like sometimes i hurt myself and go Bas****....
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    Are there any internationals here who can tell us what the words for "ouch" or "ow" in your mother tongue are?
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    I usually go 'Ahhhhh ****'. The 'ahhhh' sound is like an extention of the start of 'ow' so I guess there is some human nature thing.
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    (Original post by chill543)
    i think its the 3rd one, we ust have heard it somewere and learned it like that....
    like sometimes i hurt myself and go Bas****....
    That's only when inanimate objects hurt me
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    I feel no pain because Chuck Norris taught me well.

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    If I did feel pain :ahee: I would say it's just something we naturally use to get attention as we are in pain and want others to know it.
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    I usually swear rather than say 'ow' tbh.
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    These days 'Ow' has been replaced by a lot of profanities in my book
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    Studies have shown swearing when hurt actually reduces pain.
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    (Original post by Kiss)
    No, I tend to say '**** **** **** BASTARD MOTHER****ER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
    Ran out of rates so can't like that

    But going back to the thread, yes I usually swear. I hurt my elbow today..unpleasant words came out
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    I know that we 'voice' our pain because it actually makes the pain less - when you acknowledge the pain aloud it seems less 'scary' or painful I think?
    But i'm not sure where the actual word 'ow' comes into it. I guess from the shout/scream of pain that you naturally express, and it's just the closest word that represents it.
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    We always hear others say it from a young age so we copy them to say it until it becomes an involuntary response to pain.

    And you just created a thread right? But why on earth is it called a 'thread'? We aren't sewing anything.
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    (Original post by karateworm)
    Are there any internationals here who can tell us what the words for "ouch" or "ow" in your mother tongue are?
    It's not my mother tongue, but I know that the French say "aïe" which is pronounced "eye" and I'm pretty sure there are many different ways of saying it in other languages.
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    I guess we learn it from other people growing up. For example people might say 'erghh!' when they see something disgusting. But Somalis say ''oof!'' ^_^
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    (Original post by Ice Constricter)
    We always hear others say it from a young age so we copy them to say it until it becomes an involuntary response to pain.

    And you just created a thread right? But why on earth is it called a 'thread'? We aren't sewing anything.
    This is exactly what I thought when I first joined TSR but I went with the flow

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