"Yay long"

Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Sun Sep 29 18:38:44 UTC 2013

Joel S. Berson wrote:
> "That is, I mean exactly how far my hands are apart." And, therefore,
> no-one ever says "yay/yea" about area, volume, or mass. Or do they?

I believe I've heard the expression "yay big", accompanied by a gesture
indicating volume - two slightly clawed hands, facing each other at a

(Incidentally, my brother tells me he would spell it "yea"; so I don't
know where I got the "yay" spelling. It still looks more natural to me.)

Jim Parish

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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