30 April 2010

Yea vs. Yeah vs. Yay

Yea1 -- an expression of excitement, synonymous with (and rhymes with) hooray; e.g. Yay! My book just got accepted! Isn't that great.


Yea2 -- an archaic form of "yes"; e.g. So, shall we celebrate? Yea or nay?


Yeah -- an expression of agreement; nothing rhymes with it, but it is commonly used in the expression "Hell, yeah!"; e.g. Yeah. Let's go.


Yay -- a (seemingly accepted) misspelling of Yea1;


If you're going to use them, get them right.
That is all.

18 comments:

  1. Zeig Heil?

    I would say "yeah" rhymes with "hair", "bear", "care", "fair", etc.

    Is mine, then, an inaccuarate pronunciation?

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    Replies
    1. Not if you're from the east coast

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  2. Okay, PLEASE do one on Gheeze. Or is it Jeez? Gheez? *head explodes*

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  3. @Ryan: I guess in Australia, many words rhyme that wouldn't in other parts of the world. ;)

    @Angela: I've always taken it to be a shortened form of Jesus, so I think Jeez is correct.

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  4. “Yea” is a very old-fashioned formal way of saying “yes,” used mainly in voting. It’s the opposite of—and rhymes with—“nay.” When you want to write the common casual version of “yes,” the correct spelling is “yeah” (sounds like “yeh” ). When the third grade teacher announced a class trip to the zoo, we all yelled “yay!” (the opposite of “boo”!). That was back when I was only yay big.

    This explanation is taken from a book entitled "Common Errors in Enlish Usage" that was written by Paul Brians. Great book. Check it out.

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  5. Thank you for this post. It drives me CRAZY when people shout "Yea!", when they mean "yeah".

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  6. People often phonetically exclaim "Yea!" or "Yay!" in place of "Alright!", "Sweet!" and others, but typically misspell this phonetic pronunciation as "Yeah!". When a person exclaims "Yeah!" phonetically, which is also a synonym for the same usage as "Yay!" or "Yea!" above, they also typically spell this as "Yeah!"

    The key is in spelling the way you would pronounce your excitement: Exclaiming "Yay for proper English!" as a replacement for "Hoorah for proper English" should never be spelled "Yeah for proper English", which would suggest "Yes for proper English". Given a context of excitement, the reader will usually properly understand the writer's intent no matter how you spell it.

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  7. Your first example "Yea" interestly enough uses the "yay" spelling in its example.
    I thought you may want to know since you ended the blog with -
    "If you're going to use them, get them right.
    That is all."
    I wish for many smiles and much laughter in all of your futures! :)

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  8. You still have not corrected your error in the example as pointed out by Mrs.Mom. As she says: I thought you may want to know since you ended the blog with -
    "If you're going to use them, get them right.
    That is all."

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  9. Doesn't "yeah" rhyme with its opposite, "nah"?
    Though I suppose some prefer "naw."

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  10. one is pronounced yeh and the other is naw, how do those rhyme?

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