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Say, Kid. Hey, Man

Ken in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, wonders about the use of a couple of interjections. Why don’t people begin sentences with the word Say any more? And is it impolite to start a sentence with Hey? This is part of a complete episode.

Ish and Ishy

Ed in Florence, South Carolina, remembers that when he was stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, the locals used a couple of words he’d never heard. They’d use “Ish!” as an interjection to express disgust...

Rhymes with “Sigh”

A caller says her relative always used an interjection that sounds like sigh for the equivalent of “Are you paying attention?” The hosts suspect it’s related to s’I, a contraction of says I. This expression open appears in...

A Mother’s Playful Interjections

A Green Bay, Wisconsin, caller is curious about her mother’s playful interjections. If someone said, “Well,” her mother would add, “Well, well. Three holes in the ground.” If someone started a sentence with...

A Moniker for Your Monitor

Greetings, oh esteemed listeners. This is another newsletter from A Way with Words. On the air this past weekend, we talked a bit about giving nicknames to inanimate objects, druthers, Hispanic vs. Latino, stingaree, and people who can't quite...

le sigh

le sigh n. an exaggerated interjection indicating frustration, resignation, yearning, weariness, etc. Editorial Note: Usually written, not spoken. Etymological Note: Usually attributed to the amorous French cartoon skunk Pepe Le Peu in the Looney...