Why do I need to know Oh là là?
Any caricature of the French involves someone saying Oh là là and the best thing about this cliché is that it's actually true.
Living in France you hear it at least once a day, probably more, and after a while you find yourself saying it almost as much.
So, what does it mean?
There are several meanings for Oh là là and to work out which one you're hearing you'll need to rely on context.
One important thing to note is that unlike in English (when we say 'Ooh la la') when the French use this expression it is never intended to express that someone is sexually attractive.
Here's a look at the different ways it is used.
Then there is the bad Oh là là. Perhaps predictably, the French often employ the bad Oh là là, used more in the sense 'Oh my god that's freaking annoying'. .
For example: a car burns through a pedestrian crossing nearly knocking you over or just doesn't stop to let you cross the road generally or the cashier at the supermarket tells you je ferme ma caisse, moi (I'm closing my till) even though the queues are huge.
Oh là là! Quel choc cela me fait! – Oh dear! What a shock it gave me.
Oh là là, ça me saoûle! – Oh my god that's freaking annoying.
Oh là là ! J'ai oublié mon livre! > Oh no, I forgot my book!