A presumably 'natural' exclamation, only attested since 1921, possibly altered to (or from) whoops (attested since 1933). A shortening of whoops-a-daisy, whoopsie-daisy, or oops-a-daisy, which in turn is a mispronunciation of ups-a-daisy or upsy-daisy.
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oops (plural oopses or oops)
- A minor mistake or unforseen difficulty.
2011, Housetraining, ↑ISBN, page 14:
- It's an oops, but one that's your fault, not your puppy's.
2013, Bruce Tucker, Leadership at the Crossroads, ↑ISBN:
- Every plan and every activity has an “oops.” Oops, we forgot to..., oops, who was supposed to do that? We all have experienced “oopses”.
2014, Al Rennie, Clearwater Oops!, ↑ISBN:
- Isn't she the same woman who works at Wings that you and Billy almost got arrested for helping her with her last little oops?
2015, Dawn Klehr, If You Wrong Us, ↑ISBN:
- My parents had moved to this house, which sat on the border of Corktown and Mexicantown, from their tiny apartment in Ann Arbor—once they found out that their little oops was actually two little oops.