- the title of the governor of Algiers before the French conquest in 1830.
- a title sometimes used by the former rulers of Tunis and Tripoli.
Origin of dey
Examples from the Web for dey
Perhaps he holds up a manila folder and declares “I is all done wit me quahtahly repahts boss, and dey is IRIE!”Volkswagen’s Super Bowl Ad an Unfunny Slight to Culture
January 31, 2013
Why, dat's where dey shaved it off befo' dey cut my head open.
Dey laughed when dey heard me talk, an' I could not understand dem, no how.
He gave Bainbridge an order that made the insolent Dey tremble.
Dey will not take de scrip at eighty-two, and I tink dey are right.
Dey shall not have one kreutzer of my moneys; I can tell dem dat!
- the title given to commanders or (from 1710) governors of the Janissaries of Algiers (1671–1830)
- a title applied by Western writers to various other Ottoman governors, such as the bey of Tunis
Word Origin and History for dey
Old English dæge "female servant, housekeeper, maid," from Proto-Germanic *daigjon (cf. Old Norse deigja "maid, female servant," Swedish deja "dairymaid"), from PIE *dheigh- "to form, build" (see dough). Now obsolete (though OED says, "Still in living use in parts of Scotland"), it forms the first element of dairy and the second of lady.
The ground sense seems to be "kneader, maker of bread;" advancing by Old Norse deigja and Middle English daie to mean "female servant, woman employed in a house or on a farm." Dæge as "servant" is the second element in many surnames ending in -day (e.g. Faraday, and perhaps Doubleday "servant of the Twin," etc.).
1650s, "title of a military commander in Muslim north Africa," from Turkish dai "maternal uncle," a friendly title used of older men, especially by the Janissaries of Algiers of their commanding officers. There were also deys in Tunis and Tripoli.