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[yoh] /yoʊ/
(used as an exclamation to get someone's attention, express excitement, greet someone, etc.)
here; present: used especially in answer to a roll call.
Origin of yo
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1375-1425


year old; years old. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for yo
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • yo' mamma's a-grievin' 'cause yo' papa has to be away all the time.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • Then she added, in a lower tone, "'Kuse me fo' throwin' mud on yo' coat."

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • Just then Maria put her head in at the door to say, "May Lilly, yo' mammy's callin' you."

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • yo' all time eatum my grub, yo' no givum me money, no givum hoss, no givum notting.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • Fire smoke look up for say, 'What yo' do all time, mebbyso?'

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for yo


sentence substitute
an expression used as a greeting, to attract someone's attention, etc
Word Origin
C20: of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for yo

as a greeting, 1859, but the word is attested as a sailor's or huntsman's utterance since early 15c. Modern popularity dates from World War II (when, it is said, it was a common response at roll calls) and seems to have been most intense in Philadelphia.

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



A greeting or said to get someone's attention; hey: Yo, dudes and babes!

[1859+; even though yo and yoho are very old utterances, found by 1420, the recent revival of yo as a primarily black interjection has spawned comment; Ernest Paolino of Philadelphia, indignant because a New York writer had claimed the syllable for New York, recalls it from the 1930s as shortening of walyo; in the WWII Army it was the common form of here! used in responding to roll-calls]

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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