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On the Count of Three, Everybody Oy Vey!

One...

two...

three...

OY VEY!

Well done, everybody. On behalf of my fellow goyim, I hereby declare us all honorary mensches.

-The Gneech, verklempt

EDIT: Spelling corrected per fferret

Comments

the_gneech
Dec. 27th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
Except isn't it "vei" as in "vei is mir" ("woe is me")?

-Der Gneeche
torakiyoshi
Dec. 27th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC)
Nah, it's from the Tetragrammation, the four Hebrew letters which are used to spell out the Holy Name of G-d. In English, we translate it LORD, and in the King James it's Yahweh, and in some Latin texts its Jehova. Since in the Jewish Tradition one does not say G-d and never, ever, ever says the Holy Name, it's been transformed into YHvH, with the little 'v' replacing a capital 'W'. It's a cry of exhasperation, like saying, "oh, Lord!" Was a small step to break that down into "YH, vH" or "oy, vey!" when it came to Yiddish.

I hope I haven't spoiled all your fun. But just as you're a language/speech geek, I'm a theology/history nerd.
fferret
Dec. 27th, 2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
What Torakiyoshi said, with the additional fillip of it being Yiddish instead of Hochdeutsch. A lot of the German phonemes are rendered in their corresponding Hebrew characters.
the_gneech
Dec. 27th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
Okay then!

-The Gneech

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