4 October 2007

"Uè uè"

Word of the week/month/year/decade (depending when I decide to update this again):

Pronounced: “way”
Translation: “what’s up?/yes?/hey”

Example of use:


“Uè” / "uè ue"

I’m not sure if this is an Italian or Neapolitan “word”. It seems I can no longer distinguish the difference. It’s commonly used to respond when called, usually between friends. Even more friendly is the use of the double form “uè ue”

"Uè" can also be used to call someone, but it's more often used to answer.


sognatrice said...

They use that here too! At least among guys--I've never heard a woman answer this way (although P responds to me as such).

The women do a sort of owl sounding, high-pitched "uuuuu!" back and forth and sometimes P calls me like that too (and I'll call him that way if, say, I enter the house and don't immediately see/hear him).

Of course regarding spelling of "uuuuu!" your guess is as good as mine!

Delina said...

Men do use "uè" more, you're right. Though I have at least one female friend here who uses it too.

I'm not sure about the owl noise :D Don't think I've heard that around here. It must be more of a Calabrian thing.

Emmina said...

My boyfriend's mum (from Sicily) answers the phone in this way - but only to him! If I do it, his response is usually "Ma come ca**o parli?!" It probably just sounds weird coming from a "foreigner"!

KC said...

I love "Uè uè!" N also says "Uela" sometimes if he's addressing me, his sister or his mom.

Another thing I like that I've been noticing lately is a very fierce "Ooou" that people seem to use when arguing.

Leanne said...

Uè...I like it. I have heard it before, here in Sicily and Calabria too, but have never used it - before now that is!
I am heading over to Calabria this afternoon as shall try to pop this word in to see what sort of response I get. (Strange looks I am sure will be the only response, when the word is mixed with my Australian/Italian accent.

Anonymous said...

Here in Rome, they say "aaoh" instead of "uuu" (no idea how to spell that!) as a kind of greeting. Mostly used by men, come to think of it.


Anonymous said...

i have an Italian friend in London who says that all the time. She is from Orvieto (umbria?).

Alex said...

This is def. a cross cultural thing because my nephew, who is from Mexico, and his friends all use this too! It is the easiest little phrase ever. Ue?!

Delina said...

Emmina, sometimes it's hard to pull certain words/phrases off being foreign, I'm sure that with time it will come more naturally!

KC, I like "uèla""

Leanne, hope you don't get too many strange looks :)

Kataroma, these variations are begin to sound like jungle calls. LOL.

Anonymous, Alex, I had my doubts but it seems it's not just a Neapolitan thing after all.

Nadine said...

Thanks for the lesson. It is always interesting to find out the sayings of different languages.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

It is also big in Roman-Speak - Roberto always says it when his mom answers the phone!

Leanne said...

I asked my Calabrian bf if he or anyone says Uè and he said no...so you can imagine my delight when we were at his village bar and upon greeting us this old man said 'Uè!'

HA! Thanks to your post I was able to prove my BF wrong and I was able to understand that this old man was actually saying a real word, rather then just grunting at us!

Delina said...

Leanne: Hahah. How good it feels to be RIGHT! :)