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See also: ouaïs and -ouais


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From oui via dialectal variants; also possibly from oyez

Before becoming an informal synonym of oui, the word was exclamatory. According to Auguste Scheler, it could be linked to Indo-European roots: οὐαί (ouaí) in Greek, vae in Latin, uau in Portuguese, wow in English, wau in German, guau in Spanish or vai in Romanian.




  1. (informal) yeah, yep, yup, yes, affirmative expression.
    Synonyms: mouaif (informal, mitigated yes), mouais (informal, mitigated yes), ouaip (informal), oui, ouep (informal), yeah (anglicism), yep (anglicism), yes (anglicism)
    T’as eu ton bac alors ? — Ouais, tranquille.
    You've got your baccalaureate then? Yeah, no problem.
  2. (informal) Used to express consent.
    Synonyms: mouais (informal), ouaip (informal), oui, ouep (informal), yep (anglicism)
    Damien est irresponsable. — Ouais ; ça lui jouera des tours.
    Damian is irresponsible. — Yeah; it will play tricks on him in the future.
  3. (dated) wow
    Synonyms: oh, ouah, mazette, purée (informal), putain (vulgar), waou, waouh
    • Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris, 1832
      Ouais ! dit le roi en se grattant l’oreille gauche avec la main droite, cela fait un bon bout de ma ville !
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  4. (informal) whoo (expresses joy)
    Synonyms: hourra, yeah, yes, yippie, youpi
    Ouais, on a gagné !Whoo, we / they won!