From Middle English oyes, oyas, oye, from Anglo-Norman and Middle French oyez, oiez, imperative plural of oir (“to hear”), from Old French oïr (“to hear”), itself from Latin audiō, audīre (“to hear”) (oyez in particular corresponding to the second-person plural imperative form, audite). Commonly folk-etymologized as (and pronounced homophonously to) O + yes in the early modern period.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈəʊˌjeɪ/, IPA(key): /oʊˈjeɪ/, IPA(key): /oʊˈjɛs/
- (US) IPA(key): /oʊˈjeɪ/
- Hyphenation: o‧yez
- Hear ye. Attend. (Called by public criers or in court usually three times to secure silence and/or attentiveness).
- It is still used in the United States Supreme Court, similar to calling “order”, and in many state supreme courts, though some lower courts have dropped its use.
oyez (plural oyezes)
- A cry of "oyez".
- (rare) To proclaim with a cry of "oyez".
- 1599, [Thomas] Nashe, Nashes Lenten Stuffe, […], London: […] [Thomas Judson and Valentine Simmes] for N[icholas] L[ing] and C[uthbert] B[urby] […], OCLC 228714942, page 3:
- I truſte you make no queſtion about thoſe dull pated pennifathers, that in ſuch dudgen ſcorne reiected him, drunck deep of the ſowre cup of repentance for it, when the high flight of his lines in common brute was ooyeſſed.
- Webster's International Dictionary: 1902.
- Concise Oxford: 1981.