Meaning: a sound used to attract someone's attention, like "hey!"
- The coach noticed that some of his players weren't listening, so he said, "Oi! Are you lads listening to me, or what?"
- "Oi, Benny! How you goin' mate?"
Origin: Possibly short for "hoi polloi", which is Greek for "the many" or "the masses". "Hoi polloi" was borrowed into English in the nineteenth century and now means "the working class" or "the lower class". Because "oi" has traditionally been used by working-class people, it's possible that it originated as an abbreviation of "hoi polloi" in order to signify a fellow member of the working classes.
Variety: This slang is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.
If you hear someone shout "Oi!", you are probably somewhere in