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or oi

[oi] /ɔɪ/
(used to express dismay, pain, annoyance, grief, etc.)
Origin of oy1
Borrowed into English from Yiddish around 1890-95


or oe

[oi] /ɔɪ/
noun, Scot.
a grandchild.
Obsolete. a nephew or niece.
1425-75; late Middle English (north and Scots) o(o), oy(e) < Scots Gaelic ogha; see O' Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for oy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now, by the 12 e. as ea is to ai: so is so to oy: and therefore, by the grant, so is uo to oy.

    The Way To Geometry Peter Ramus
  • Therefore seeing that uo, and os, are proportionall to oy, they are both equall.

    The Way To Geometry Peter Ramus
  • The sound of oi or oy is dipthongal, composed of the third or broad a, and ee.

  • And then she says, 'You're Doyvy, oyn't you, that had the ax-nent?'

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan
  • Then oy shall go and play with The Boys, because the forg's a-stoarping.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost

    William Frend De Morgan
  • The girl laughed again; one would have sworn there was; oy in her voice.

    Half A Chance Frederic S. Isham
  • Here o is the average event, and oy represents the number of average events.

    Logic Carveth Read
Contemporary definitions for oy

an exclamation of dismay or exasperation; also written oi ; also called oy vay , oy vey


It is snowing again! Oy!

Word Origin

Yiddish's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for oy

Yiddish exclamation of dismay, 1892, American English. Extended form oy vey (1959) includes Yiddish vey, from German Weh "woe" (see woe).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for oy



An exclamation of multiple significance: Oy may be employed to express anything from ecstasy to horror

[1892+; fr Hebrew]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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