Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


See Wiktionary:Requests for verification archive/2011. - -sche (discuss) 23:52, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

RFV discussion: October 2011[edit]

Green check.svg

This entry has survived Wiktionary's verification process (permalink).

Please do not re-nominate for verification without comprehensive reasons for doing so.

Rfv-sense: Gender-neutral pronoun. Tagged but not listed. -- Liliana 20:14, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

w:Spivak pronouns says that Spivak pronouns 'are not in widespread use' but the Wikipedia article does give three books that employ such pronouns. So I suppose this and the related pronouns could pass. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:36, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
The second one isn't independent tho. -- Liliana 16:46, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Cited. - -sche (discuss) 20:01, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

RFV passed. Thanks, citer.​—msh210 (talk) 18:04, 23 October 2011 (UTC)


Does ey (meaning "island") rhyme with bye, bay, or bee? Zacwill (talk) 10:08, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

German etymology[edit]

  • MHG ei " a common interjection used, among other things, as a vocative particle"
    • Benecke, Müller, Zarncke give another definition for MHG ei than "a vocative particle", and the usual and common vocative particle is ô (NHG o, NE o or O).
  • "The word is thus of native origin"
    • Even if NHG ey comes from MHG ei, the word could have a foreign origin. The MHG word or maybe an OHG predecessor could come from Latin or a Celtic language.
  • "though in contemporary colloquial German it may well have been reinforced by synonymous Turkish ey"
    • Even Adelung knows the interjections ey and DWB has it at ei, thus in NHG it's not reinforced by Turkish.
    • If that's supposed to mean reinforced in the 20th/21st century, even than it's doubtful. The origin given at is "englisch" (that's German for English), and German wiktionary states that it is assumed that the word comes from English hey. That's more likely, as German movies and TV shows are not rarely poorly dubbed and spread English words and habits, and as English movies and TV shows are also seen by Germans which aren't Turks and have no contact with Turks. Maybe also cf. with hey where Duden states it's coming from English hey.
    • "may" is just speculation (by a wiktionary editor), could be a folk etymology, and it's unsourced anyway.
  • It could be that MHG ei and Adelung's ey are another interjection than this ey. Adelung's ey maybe is pronounced like a usually German ai/ay/ei/ey ([aɪ̯]) while here it is an unsual "/ɛɪ̯/". That could explain Duden's "englisch" even though Adelung knows this word.

- 15:25, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

In fact, MHG ei is straightforwardly continued in Modern German ei, pronounced as [aɪ] and not at all homonymous with ey [ɛɪ], whose origin would seem to be English because the diphthong [ɛɪ] is not found in native German words, is a typical foreign diphthong and characteristic of borrowings from English – where it is often spelled ey at the end of a word, such as in hey, which has also been borrowed into German. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:07, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
The fact that [ɛɪ] occurs only in an interjection doesn't mean that ey is necessarily a borrowing from English. Interjections often have funny phonology. The interjection pfui also has a diphthong that occurs only in that word; in English, duh and yeah have checked vowels in unchecked position, and so on. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 04:32, 23 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not saying it's definite proof, but circumstantial evidence, in addition to the other points I made. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:24, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

The word occurs in dialects as [aɪ̯]~[ɛɪ̯]~[eː]. It has always existed in German and is therefore native. There can be no doubt about this. For the use as a vocative particle, I quote the DWB: "wie in jenem ei du fromer knecht! finden sich auch mhd. ei gern vor dem vocativ, den anruf hervor hebend". Neither is the part about Turkish something I made up. It is a common theory; confer the article "Türkisch sprechen nicht nur die Türken" mentioned in the German wiktionary article. Personally, I think English has nothing to do with it, but I'll mention it. I'm putting the deleted stuff back up.

For a dialectal dictionary I quote the Rheinisches Wörterbuch (early 20th century, thus no English or Turkish influence), the pronunciation is [eː], the use is exactly that of contemporary ey:

Artikelverweis e III Interj.:
1. ē: Zuruf = Hör mal! E, komm es (einmal) her! Rip, Allg. —
2. ē:, ē, e angewandt einem jüngeren Menschen gegenüber, dessen Name einem nicht sofort einfällt oder den man nicht kennt, z. B. e, wat ech der son well; e, wie heschte dann doch? — Auch bei Dingen, deren Bezeichnung einem nicht einfällt, z. B. e, no, ech kunn net op de Name Rip, Allg.

Nota bene that in these dialect [e:] is also the regular outcome of MHG ei.