Oops a Daisy Meaning
Definition: Whoops; Up you go.
This expression has many variants, including ups-a-daisy, oopsy daisy, and similar alternate spellings.
Origin of Oops a Daisy
People most frequently use this exclamation with children, especially after children fall down. It is a way to acknowledge the fall yet still encourage the child to get back up again, rather than cry. They also sometimes use it when lifting a child up off the ground.
In Jonathan Swift’s The Journal to Stella (1711), he uses one of the variant spellings:
- Come stand away, let me rise… Is there a good fire? – So – up a-dazy.
Most sources speculate that this comes from up, as encouraging or lifting a child up, and lackaday. Lackaday is a now archaic interjection to express regret.
People also sometimes say this, or whoopsydaisy, after a small mistake.
Examples of Oops a Daisy
Here is an example in which two roommates are discussing a strategy parents are using with their children.
Mario: How was babysitting?
Axel: It wasn’t very good. They little boy is just learning to walk, and he fell down. I was worried he hurt himself so I said, “Oh my God, are you okay?” The parents hadn’t left yet, and they got upset with me for saying that.
Mario: Really? Why?
Axel: They told me that they were trying to not make a big deal about his falls. They wanted me to just say oopsy daisy and smile. They thought it would model better behavior. You know, don’t cry when you make a mistake, just smile and move on.
Mario: Oh, I guess that makes sense.
Axel: Yes, it makes sense, but I wish they had told me that first before getting upset about it.
In this example, an assistant makes a mistake while working for her boss, a professional singer.
Singer: Can you please hand me that file over there?
Assistant: Sure. Oh, whoopsadaisy.
Singer: What happened?
Assistant: Oh, nothing important. I just accidentally knocked over a small bottle. Don’t worry. There was only about an ounce of liquid in it.
Singer: That was my special perfume. It is $1,000 per ounce.
Assistant: Oh…then I guess whoopsadaisy isn’t really strong enough to express how sorry I am for doing that.
This excerpt is about the inventor of the chimichanga, and how it happened by mistake.
- Not minding that chefs have put their own stamp on her aunt’s oops-a-daisy brainstorm doesn’t mean Flores can’t rattle off reasons why El Charro’s chimichangas are a time-honored classic. –LA Times
The second example is from an article headline. The writer used the expression because a flower company made a big mistake. It is a pun on the word daisy, because this is a common flower.
- Oops a daisy! 1-800-Flowers fails to deliver floral arrangements to hundreds on Valentine’s Day –New York Daily News
The phrase oops a daisy has many different spellings, and several slightly different pronunciations.
However, people almost always use it either with small children who they are lifting up or who just fell down. They can also say it after a small mistake.