From Middle English aye, ai, aȝȝ, from Old Norse ei, ey, from Proto-Germanic *aiwa, *aiwō (“ever, always”) (compare Old English āwo, āwa, ā, ō, Middle Dutch ie, German je), from *aiwaz (“age; law”) (compare Old English ǣ(w) (“law”), West Frisian ieu (“century”), Dutch eeuw (“century”)), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eyu- (“long time”) (compare Irish aois (“age, period”), Breton oad (“age, period”), Latin ævum (“eternity”), Ancient Greek αἰών (aiṓn)). Doublet of aevum.
- IPA(key): /eɪ/
- Rhymes: -eɪ
- (sometimes proscribed) IPA(key): /aɪ/
aye (not comparable)
- (archaic) ever, always
- 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i]:
- […] Do that good miſcheefe, which may make this Iſland / Thine owne for euer, and I thy Caliban, / For aye thy foot-licker.
- 1834, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner":
- The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast, / And southward aye we fled.
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter XII, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299:
- Huge hills and mountains of casks on casks were piled upon her wharves, and side by side the world-wandering whale ships lay silent and safely moored at last; while from others came a sound of carpenters and coopers, with blended noises of fires and forges to melt the pitch, all betokening that new cruises were on the start; that one most perilous and long voyage ended, only begins a second; and a second ended, only begins a third, and so on, for ever and for aye.
- 1863, Translation by Catherine Winkworth:
- Let the Amen sound from His people again; Gladly for aye we adore Him. (Praise to the Lord, the Almighty)
- For quotations using this term, see Citations:aye.
"Appears suddenly about 1575, and is exceedingly common about 1600." Probably from use of aye (“ever, always”) as expression of agreement or affirmation, or from Middle English a ye (“oh yes”), or synthesis of both. More at oh, yea.
- It is much used in Scotland, the north and Midlands of England, the northern counties of Ireland, North Wales, as well as in Australia and New Zealand (where it may follow rather than precede a statement). Also notably seen in viva voce voting in legislative bodies, etc., or in nautical contexts.
- The New Geordie Dictionary, Frank Graham, 1987, →ISBN
- Newcastle 1970s, Scott Dobson and Dick Irwin, 
- A Dictionary of North East Dialect, Bill Griffiths, 2005, Northumbria University Press, →ISBN
aye (plural ayes)
- An affirmative vote; one who votes in the affirmative.
- "To call for the ayes and nays;" "The ayes have it."
Probably of multiple motivations, the sounds having been chosen for functional reasons.
- (MLE, regional African-American Vernacular) an attention grabber
Other pronouns with the same meaning used in Jakarta:
Other pronouns with the same meaning used elsewhere:
- Alternative form of
aye (not comparable)
- always, still
- A'll aye be wi ye an A'm nae carin whit thay sae.
- I'll always be with you and I don't care what they say.
- It'll aye be the same wi thaim thou.
- It'll still be the same with them though.