Britney famously sang “oops, I did it again” and now Rick Perry, a US Republican presidential candidate, has brought the word back into the popular consciousness.

Perry’s “oops” came as he couldn’t remember the name of a third national agency he would close if he was made president. It’s unlikely he has an idea of the origins of the word, which started to appear around the 1930s. Whilst the exact origins are unknown, it’s thought it may come from the phrase “up-a-daisy”, which has been used since the 18th Century.

And oops isn’t just confined to the English language:

An Italian found in error might say, “ops!” while a Frenchman who’s made a faux pas might say, “oups!” In Spanish, one can say opa, but just as common are huy and ¡ay! A Russian who’s made a goof might exclaim, “ой” (pronounced oj), while a German blunderer might blurt out, “hoppla!” (Source:

What do you say when you’ve made an error?