Definition of caramba in US English:



humorous, informal
  • An expression of surprise or dismay.

    • ‘It is ‘an eminently foolish book - overdrawn, overlong, underconsidered, and filled with at least one forehead-slapping ay caramba per page.’’
    • ‘Any parent knows that when you tell a child that something is ‘good’ for them, they tend to run the other way faster than Bart Simpson can say, ‘Ay caramba!’’
    • ‘No, Oscar won't quit and go out of business and try out for American Idol but he may have to record another CD-aye caramba!’
    • ‘Loads of Evesham stuff, including 5 fleeces, 10 ‘nearly high quality’ t-shirts, 5 copies of Go Back for Windows 98 (ay caramba!)’
    • ‘I started graduate school a few years before the Sokal hoax, when what was still transgressive and sexy about literary theory was fighting it out with the sheer ay, caramba factor of such pronouncements as ‘E = MC2 is a sexed equation.’’
    • ‘Aye caramba, Baltimore has a good defense, and aye caramba, did it ever win the coaching-prep battle.’


Mid 19th century: from Spanish.