Regional linguistic affectations, or amateur linguistic analysis

My brother-in-law, who recently relocated from Texas to Western NY for his Ph.D., sent me this rumination on the use of “Y’all”, which I promptly forwarded to my Chair and a staff member, both of whom have either chuckled or LOL’d when I’ve said “y’all.” In response, the staff member admitted that Canadian’s have their own affectation, “eh?”, which led to a brief discussion of the meanings and use of “eh.” Yes, there are some people (not plentiful in Toronto or Hamilton, thank goodness), who seem to sprinkle “eh” at the end of every statement. But more often, it seems, to Brian and me at least, that “eh” is used in a sarcastic way to really invert the meaning of the previous statement, as in “Have a good day, eh?”, which you’re likely to hear a snarky barista tell a picky customer as they hand off their half-caff, triple tall, light foam, extra sweet, mocha soy latte.

I’m curious about other uses of “eh.”

 

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