From Middle English hey, hei, also without h- in ey, from Old English *hē, ēa (interjection), attested as first element in Old English 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”), Icelandic hei (“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 Chinese 哎 (āi), and various sound-alikes as Roman eho, Greek εἴα (eía), Latin eia, 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, Britain, 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".
- 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 Help:How to check translations.
hey (plural heys)
hey n (genitive singular heys, nominative plural hey)
- obsolete spelling of