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¡Ay, caramba! (pronounced: [ˈai kaˈɾamba]) comes from the Spanish interjection ¡ay! (denoting surprise or pain) and caramba and aye caramba means "Hot Damn!" (a minced oath, a euphemism for carajo); which is an exclamation used in Spanish to denote surprise (usually positive). The term caramba is also used in Portuguese (Ai, Caramba!), the Portuguese equivalent of the Spanish carajo.
In literature and the arts
The fictional character Bart Simpson from the American animated sitcom The Simpsons further popularized the phrase in modern pop culture. It became one of his most notable catchphrases, and something he would say when he was positively surprised by something or in connection with women. Bart also said the line in negative and general surprise. For example, in the episode "Selma's Choice", Bart, Lisa, and their Aunt Selma approached a very popular ride at Duff Gardens. Once seeing the exceptionally long line for said ride, Bart exclaimed, "¡Ay, carumba!", obviously not conveying any positive sentiment.
- Grimace - A sharp contortion of the face expressive of pain, contempt, or disgust.
- Sacrebleu - An old French profanity expressive of a cry of anger or surprise.
- Spanish-English/English-Spanish Dictionary. New York: Random House. 1999. p. 66. ISBN 0-345-40547-1.
- Carol Mikkelsen, Spanish Theater Songs -- Baroque and Classical Eras: Medium High Voice
- Shirlee Emmons, Wilbur Watkin Lewis, Researching the song
- Turner, Chris (2004). Planet Simpson. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. p. 60. ISBN 0306813416.
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