Jan Ivarsson TransEdit transedit.h at TELIA.COM
Thu Sep 20 07:48:29 UTC 2001

>At 7:16 PM -0400 9/19/01, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>>A student of mine said that his German professor insists that "yo" is a
>>shortening of German "jawohl"--and he gave a long explanation of why which
>>I can't remember.  I can't buy this at all, but has anyone else heard
>>it???  Could it have been "PA dutchified"?

      >Germans do not use "jawohl" as a vocative, and they do not
>shorten "jawohl" to "yo." The suggestion of the German professor
>seems implausible.

>---Gerald Cohen

I agree. During three years in Germany I never heard any "yo".
But in northern Sweden (and the Swedish-speaking parts of Finland) "jo" is used as a variant of "ja" (yes), especially for expressing "I agree" or for insisting very strongly on what one just said.
Many US immigrants came from those areas. Maybe their way of expressing agreement made its way into US English.

Jan Ivarsson
jan.ivarsson at transedit.st

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