since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

YEP and NAY in US parlament - standard English?!

For general discussion between ESL teachers.

Moderator: Susan

Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 4:23 pm
Location: Czech Republic

YEP and NAY in US parlament - standard English?!

Unread postby 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!

Prolific Member
Prolific Member
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:10 pm
Status: Teacher Trainer
Location: United States

Political jargon

Unread postby 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

Return to “ESL Teacher Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest