What does Woah mean?

A sudden reaction of shock or surprise

Picture this: You’re chatting with your friend, Bob, and he drops a bombshell. He’s just discovered his dad isn’t his biological father. All you can manage to say is, “woah”. This slang term ‘woah’ is a way people express surprise or disbelief, both in a good or bad way. It’s the same as ‘whoa’, but ‘whoa’ is more commonly used.

You can also use ‘woah’ if something exceeds your expectations. Maybe you did really well on a test you were worried about. You could text your friend, “Woah, look at my math scores!”. You can use ‘woah’ both face-to-face and in online chats or text messages.

The use of ‘woah’ goes way back. It came from the Old English word “ho”, an exclamation of surprise. Over the years, ‘woah’ has evolved and changed, but it’s still a widespread term for showing amazement or wonder. So next time something shocks you or takes you by surprise, don’t forget to express it with a good, old-fashioned ‘woah’.

Example for using ‘Woah’ in a conversation

Friend: Guess what? I just won two tickets to the concert tonight!

Me: Woah! That’s amazing! Who’s performing?

Friend: It’s Taylor Swift! Can you believe it?

Me: Woah, that’s incredible! I’ve always wanted to see her live. You’re so lucky!