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Could someone explain the definition of しまった and when it is appropriate to use?

 

Some have told me it's informal and others have said it's a swear word and could be viewed as offensive.

For learning: Japanese
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    しまった is an exclamation you use when you notice your failure in something. Normally you automatically speak it to yourself, not intending to be heard.
    It is not a formal word, but I do not think it is offensive.

     

    I understand that "しまった" is pretty much equivalent to "Oh, no". This is certainly colloquial, but not offensive as it is taught in secondary schools.

    Personally I've never ever heard or use this phrase in my life except in comics or cartoons or perhaps in an ironical way. It's like "Holly cow!?".

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