Each morning, I wake up in excruciating pain. I stumble to the tea kettle, turn it on, make myself a cup, and shuffle to my corner chair in the office nook where I sit with my back cushioned by a heating pad. I nestle in right by the window where I can see the backyard waking up, collect my thoughts, pray, read, and start my day. On this one particularly painful morning, I fell into my chair because my back just couldn’t support me. I heard myself exclaim, “Akgh!” Then I started laughing! I was announcing my pain automatically in Arabic!

That got me to ask, “what are the automatic pain responses in other languages?” I know, I know, my mind runs down odd pathways! Then I thought, “what an interesting blog post that would make!” So here we are. You have the privilege of travelling on this detour with me.

It turns out that the words for the English “Ouch” in other cultures are never-ending. I’ll name a few:

Danish – av

French – aie

German – autsch

Hindi – aye

Hebrew – oy

Hungarian – jaj

Korean – aigo

Japanese – itta

Spanish – ay

Swahili – eh

Your pain exclamation is automatic but it’s immediately filtered through your heart language before you even finish saying it! Pain is exceptionally persnickety and personal.

I do ask that I not have any more heart grief and sorrow. Nevertheless, as I’m asking, I know that pain can’t be prevented. Therefore, I ask as well that He helps me remain what He created me to be in spite of the inevitable sorrows.


Did you know that even our angry, pain fueled exclamations to God are prayers?

But if I speak, my pain is not relieved, and if I refrain from speaking, how much of it goes away?

Job 16:6

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