Antedating of "yeah" - sort of.

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jun 8 00:12:16 UTC 2006

Just as I tried to "send" a long and fascinating communique' to back up the above subject line, a "power outage" erased all of it.

  The gist of it was my discovery of an 1865 "Yeah ! Yeah !" which antedates OED by forty years.  But these "yeahs" seem to represent a kind of hearty African-American laughter, leading to the following questions :

  How can it be that there seems to be no "yeah" (or "yeh," etc.) meaning "yes" recorded before about 1900 ?

  Why doesn't OED think that "yeah" might be a direct descendant of "yea" ?

  Is affirmative "yeah" somehow directly connected with AAVE ?


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