Variants of Yes

In 1926, the linguist Louise Pound published an article in the journal American Speech (Dec 1, 1926) warning that the word "Yes" was in danger of disappearing from oral speech. She noted: "Yes is a compound of yea-so, or perhaps of the old optative of the verb to be, Anglo-Saxon gea si, "yea be it." It was well established by the sixteenth century, alongside the historic affirmative yea and the competing aye, which appeared in the last part of the century."

However, Yes continued to rapidly evolve. While attending an event with over 100 people, she heard a wide variety of Yes variants being used. These are listed below. She didn't count substitutes such as "all right," "you bet," "O K," or "uh huh."

     Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 26, 2017

Well... good old "yeah" is still closer to its relatives in other languages, so there's no reason not to go back to it.
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/28/17 at 03:56 AM
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