Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- Used to show that what has just been referred to is not ideal and that the speaker or writer believes it cannot be helped or improved upon, or is unwilling to do so.
- 2003: Streaming a movie prevents any but the most dedicated and well-equipped hacker from making a digital copy (pointing a camera at the screen still works, but hey) — S. Gulie, Quicktime for the Web, Morgan Kaufmann, p136
- 2004: I am pretty sure it's another computer glitch, but hey, it's not my fault and it's perfectly legal. — R. Broadhead, Dear Valued Customer, You Are A Loser, Andrews McMeel Publishing, p89
- But hey is typically followed by a justification, explanation or excuse for the circumstances referred to. It is also used with nothing following it, in which case it stands for "but nothing can be done about this and so it must be accepted".