Posted by Lewis (the Honorary Geordie) on February 07, 2003
In Reply to: Why aye man posted by TheFallen on February 07, 2003
: : : : Mark Knopfler has a song titled "Why Eye Man" and it is used as an expression in the song. What is the meaning of this and the derivation?
: : : Many sites have the lyrics as "Why Aye Man". No luck as to finding the meaning, though.
: : I am guessing it means literally 'why yes, man". However, it sounds to me like a Geordie flavoring element, a bit like 'ye kenn'(you understand or know) in some parts of Scotland, or 'all right?'(pronounced 'aw rite?' in the East End of London. In other words, the actual meaning is a bit by-the-by at this point. Geordie accents are notoriously difficult to understand however so I defer to any Geordies in the house. There must be one at least, no?
: Ms. Camel is entirely correct in her guess. Why aye man, pronounced to sound something like "wye eye mon" is indeed a typical Geordie (Northeastern England) greeting. It means nothing more than hello or how are you doing? I noticed recently that we had someone posting on terms from England's North-East, so they'll no doubt provide more information.
As the expression is entirely a colloquial interjection, the speeling isn't settled but "wae'aye man" pretty much captures it. It mainly punctuates a conversation from the listener along with "Noooo" and "Noo-way!" - it has connotations of mild surprise and has an inflection accordingly. it can also be used as an emphasised "yes" as in "Wae'aye bonnie lad!"
If anybody knows the origin of gadgie/gadgey - I would be interested - it usually means pretty much the same as "geezer" as in a leery bloke.