Yeah, no, ich heisse Leon

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6 thoughts on “Yeah, no, ich heisse Leon

  1. French speakers also use an equivalent of “Yeah, no”, so I can’t at the moment recall if it is “Oui, non,….” or “Non, oui,…” which is most often used.

    I remember, when first coming for a longer visit in the US, I found fascinating (for some reason…) that students started most (well, many, really) sentences with “Yeah, no,…” then some subject-verb, then “like”, then “you know”, then continued. (“Yeah, no, he was, like, you know, completely cool”, or something to that effect). I guess I found this interesting because this was absolutely unexpected — none of the sources of English I had had access to (books, newspapers, TV, etc,) had ever emphasized this type of construction…

  2. (The smiley above shouldn’t really be there, closing parentheses is sometimes hard to do nowadays)

  3. JSE says:

    I think the sentence-opening “Yeah, no” is fairly new — that is, I say it a lot now but my perception is that I didn’t say it as a kid. “Like” and “you know,” on the other hand, have been standard particles of English my whole life.

    School French didn’t prepare me for everyone under 30 pronouncing “oui” as “weh….”

  4. “Ouais” is the way we would write it (indeed, according to my Grand Robert dictionary, this goes back at least as far back as 1553, with a quotation from Molière’s “Le Misanthrope”, although only as an interjection expressing surprise (so the sense as synonym of “Oui” may be more recent).

    My youngest son definitely learnt it recently; he likes to say “Oh, ouais !” anytime we mention something interesting happening.

  5. Tom says:

    Yeah, no, I remember a moment of first noticing we were all saying it, but that was about 18 years ago.

  6. […] couple of years ago I was surprised to learn that the most popular boy’s and girl’s name in Germany were Leon and Leonie, […]

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