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あら as in the expression of surprise like "oh my".

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You may always use "oro" ;-) – LIttle Ancient Forest Kami Dec 7 '13 at 19:07
@LIttleAncientForestKami: My dictionary does not have it, do you have any link? Or is it a joke I have failed to understand? – Nicolas Raoul Dec 9 '13 at 6:54
I do have the links, though I'm not surprised you don't have it in the dictionary. :-) It's quite famous in some circles due to Rurouni Kenshin character, which uses it quite often. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himura_Kenshin (search for 'oro') or a fan discussion about it with screencap from DVD animenfo.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=475. I recall reading it was coined by Watsuki to be a male-version of 'ara' but this link I can't find now. So, summarizing, you weren't off the mark with this being a joke. ;-) – LIttle Ancient Forest Kami Dec 13 '13 at 22:53
up vote 7 down vote accepted

While more females might use it than males, it is certainly NOT a female-only expression by any means. I am a male native speaker and I say あら and あらっ all the time and so do many other males around me.

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I just have a follow up question: I noticed that I can add more "ら”'s to emphasize my surprise like "あらら” to indicate more surprise. I'm just wondering up to how many "ら"'s is it reasonable to add? For example can I use "あららららら” to indicate my emotion without sounding silly? – zeion Dec 8 '13 at 23:49
@Tokyo Would あらら be a version of あら, or would it be a completely different word? japanese.stackexchange.com/a/1207/264 – Pacerier Dec 16 '13 at 0:44

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