YEP and NAY in US parlament - standard English?!

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YEP and NAY in US parlament - standard English?!

Unread post by Silis » Thu May 25, 2006 4:30 pm

Hello everybody, I wonder if anyone can tell me why there is "Yep" and "Nay" on the voting board in the US parliament instead of the standard "Yes" and 'No"... My students asked me and I could not answer that... :shock: Please? Thanks a lot!

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Political jargon

Unread post by eric_p_m » Sat Aug 12, 2006 4:17 pm

Dear Silis,

I believe that you are mistaken: the political jargon should be "yea" and "nay". "Yep" is a colloquialism for "yes" although quite improper for a formal context.

Linguistically, "nay" comes from Old Norse and thus "yea" comes from Old English probably as a compliment, meaning "so be it". Both terms were embraced by Middle English.

Nowadays, "yea" and "nay" are restricted to the political arena. American English took these terms from British English during the colonialization of the New World where they fossilized while British English might have further evolved from surrounding language groups.


Eric Paul Monroe

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