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Posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 25, 2005

In Reply to: A-up posted by Smokey Stover on November 25, 2005

: : Hi I love this site, if anyone can answer me this it would make my day. In the north (uk) a lot of people say a-up insted of hello. I'd like to know why this is and what it means as I think its quite an unusual phrase. PLz help

: "Ayup" is Yes. I've never heard of it being used for hello except on the telephone, but I don't know UK accents. Possibly you might say it to a stranger the way an American might begin a conversation with "Yeah, whadda ya want?" Taking it to be a Yes, I think it got to be that way by lengthening and deepening the "y" sound at the beginning of "Yep." The "u" of Ayup is really schwah, an unaccented and characterless vowel. Sometimes it's "Ayuh, ayuh," with the accent on "Ay," pronounced like the letter A. Where I grew up there were a few variant pronunciations. One that I parrticularly liked can be represented as 'ea', in which the e as in bet is short and bears the accent, followed by a as in father. The diphthong is pronounced twice very quickly, with a glottal stop (') fore and aft of each syllable.

: If you can confirm that Ayup in the north of England really means Hello and not Yes, I'd appreciate it. And would find it mystifying, like much British speech. SS

Speaking very cautiously, as befits a Londoner born and bred, I certainly understand it to mean "Hello", Hi there"; I have never heard it used to mean "Yes". I don't think it is a variant of "Yep" because Northerners don't usually say "Yep", unless they watch a lot of Westerns! There's no standard spelling, but "Eh-up" is probably as good as any, since it is really "Eh" (as in "Hey!" or "Hi!") plus "up". (VSD)