Saturday, October 1, 2022

And then there is this...

The hideous phrasing ha been attributed to Californias, Mid-westerners or Miamidiots, but wherever it originated it is now excessively overused in America.

It is the phrase, "Yeah. No." Usually with the emphasis on the "yeah", and a slightly more understated "no". Even nonAmericans must have heard this, at least via entertainment.

Now, let us say you are from France and you have never heard this before and someone asks you if you have heard this. Ironically, this would be the time where one would use that idiom. The "yeah" part would be that the Frenchie understand the question, request or statement. And the "no" part means that the have not heard it before 

Which, of course, would not be true - since the Parisian in question used the phrase. In this case it would mean something like, "You dumb ass non-Frenchie, of course I have heard. it. We invented that phrase before the English batasterdized it."

The most common usage is in response to a question / favor. Say your are going to a family reunion and someone asks you to bring ambrosia salad*. 

And you say "yeah, no". This means that you will not be bringing that salad. It is a contraction of the sentence "No, I would rather not bring Ambrosia, I hate it."

Or you say, "No, yeah, no" This same the same thing as above, but with extra added emphasis. It means "No, I definitely will not bring Ambrosia, I hate it.". In this case, the first "no" is drawn out, like you are thinking about it and really disagree.

I think this phrase came into common public usage during covid, where the use meant that: "Yes I understand that you think masks will help stop the spread, but no, I will not be wearing one."

Or in this context, "Will you run down and get some milk?" "Yeah, no." Where it really means "I'm not getting exposed to covid for cow juice."

So now you know. Yeah?


* Ambrosia Salad is a uniquely middle American dish for potluck or sometimes Thanksgiving. It is maraschino cherries (canned), pineapple bits (again canned), coconut flakes, fresh cut apple slices, jello cut into pieces and all mixed with "cool whip" an oil-based whipped cream substitute. From the southern minority community, the "cool whip" can be replaced by a little sour cream. For the southern white community the "cool whip" is sometimes replaced by mayonnaise.

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