From Middle English hey, hei, also without h- in ey, from Old English
*hē, ēa (interjection), attested as first element in hēlā, ēalā (“O!, alas!, oh!, lo!”). Cognate with Dutch hé, hei (“hi, hey”), German hei (“hey, wow”), Danish and Swedish hej (“hello, hey”), Faroese hey (“hey, hello”), Old Norse, Icelandic and Norwegian hei (“hey”), Romanian hei, Russian эй (ej, “hey”); see heigh. Probably a natural expression, as may be inferred from its presence with similar meaning in many other unrelated languages: for example, Burmese
ဟေး (he:), Finnish hei, Unami hè, and Mandarin 哎 (āi), and various sound-alikes as Ancient Greek
εἴα (eía) and Latin eia, eho, Sanskrit हे (he). See also hello.
- An exclamation to get attention.
Hey, look at this!
- A protest or reprimand.
Hey! Stop that!
- An expression of surprise.
Hey! This is new!
- (US, Australia, Canada) An informal greeting, similar to hi.
Hey! How's it going?
- A request for repetition or explanation; an expression of confusion (see also eh, huh).
Hey? How's that?
- A meaningless beat marker or extra, filler syllable in song lyrics.
The chorus is nana na na, nana na na hey hey hey, goodbye".
exclamation to get attention
հեյ (hy) (hey)
гэй (hej), эй (ej)
- Catalan: ep (ca), ei (ca)
- Mandarin: 喂 (zh) (wèi), 哎 (zh) (āi), 嗨 (zh) (hāi), 嘿 (zh) (hēi)
- Czech: hele (cs), hej (cs)
- Dutch: hé (nl), (please verify) hé daar
- Estonian: hei
- Finnish: hei (fi)
- French: hé (fr)
- German: Hallo (de)
- Ancient: οὗτος m (hoûtos), αὕτη f (haútē)
- Hindi: अरे (hi) (arē), अजी (hi) (ajī), हे (hi) (hē), रे (hi) (rē)
- Hungarian: hé (hu)
- Irish: hé, hóigh
- Italian: ehi, ou
- Japanese: おい (ja) (oi), ねえ (nē)
이봐 (ibwa), 어이 (ko) (eoi), 야 (ko) (ya)
- Latin: salve (la), (to multiple people) salvete (la), eho
- Latvian: klau, eu
- Malay: hei
هی (fa) (hey), هلا (fa) (halā)
- Polish: hej (pl), ej (pl)
- Portuguese: ei (pt)
- Romanian: hei (ro)
- Russian: эй (ru) (ej)
- Scottish Gaelic: hòigh
- Roman: hej (sh)
- Spanish: oye (es), hey (es), eh (es)
- Swedish: hallå (sv)
- Tagalog: hoy (tl), uy, ui, oi
- Ukrainian: гей (hej), ей (ej)
- Vietnamese: ê (vi), này (vi), ơi (vi)
request for repetition or explanation
meaningless beat marker, filler syllable
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
hey (plural heys)
- (country dancing) A choreographic figure in which the dancers weave between one another.
hey (plural heys)
- Alternative spelling of he (Hebrew letter)