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yah adv Also sp ya [Cf Ger, Du, Norw, Sw, Dan ja] scattered, but chiefly Nth, esp N Cent, Upper MW, Plains States See Map


1834 in 1925 Chron. OK 3.184 IN, How many Thousand are enjoying themselves . . without the least feeling compassion for those travelers in the forest, ya. 1883 Roe His Rivals 206 Sth [Black], “But haven’t you a wife and children?” “Oh, yah.” 1900 Every Other Sun. 16.44 [Black], “And then you’ve got a home to go to.” “Oh, yah! Mos’ paid fur, too.” “And children?” “Oh, yah!” 1905 Daily News 23 May 4/7 (OED2), America . . has two substitutes for ‘yes.’ One of them is ‘yep’ and the other is ‘yah.’ 1931 Jacobson Milwaukee Dial. 17 WI, Oh ya. . . is extensively used both as an exclamation and as an affirmative expression. Ibid 19, Ya. . . one of the most common forms of yes. No matter how ungerman or how well educated everyone at some time or other uses ya for yes. A New York girl was visiting in Milwaukee for a few weeks last year. Apparently unconscious of the effects of her visit she returned to the University with a broad German Ya which try as she may she can not lose. Ibid, Ya sure. . . widely used in place of the German ganz gewiss. 1948 Manfred Chokecherry 25 nwIA, He called upstairs. “Pa.” “Ya?” 1965–70 DARE (Qu. NN1, . . Words like ‘yes’) 76 Infs, chiefly N Cent, Upper MW, also NEast, NW, Plains States, Yah [jɑ(:)]; 28 Infs, scattered, Yah [no transcription]; IL4, Yah [jɔ˂˄:]; MA35, Yah [jɔ]; IL61, Yah [jɑ]—we get that from our German friends; MI122, Yah [jɔ]—from the Dutch; MN6, Yah [jɑ] [FW: Inf thinks this is not good but uses it anyway.]; MN37, Yah [jɑ] sure; ach yah [ˈɑkˌjɑ]; WA20, Yah [jɑ]; yah sure; WI52, Yah [jɑ]—‘yes’ in Swedish. 1997 DARE File—Internet (Speak ’Scansin) 4 WI, Yah = Yes. 2004 DARE File Upper Peninsula MI, “Like Yoopers, they say ‘yah’ and I mean I just do it because we think it’s funny.” . . “What would a bad Yooper sound like?” “Yah, I went up to da store yesterday.” Ibid, [Bumper sticker:] Say yah to da U.P., eh! [In response to a similar slogan, “Say Yes to Michigan.”]

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