The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

TGB Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)

Hey, y’all. Have you ever heard of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? No? Neither had I until recently. They’re a band started in 2000 in New York City. I’m not sure about the quality of their music, but I do know that they’re pretty decent spellers. For that, I say “Yea!”

I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that today’s topic is two words—“yeah” and “yea”—that are often interchanged and commonly misspelled. Here’s a (poorly drawn) cartoon to help you out:

I warned you about the quality of this drawing.

I warned you about the quality of this drawing.

Yeah = a casual form of yes
Yea = yes (in oral voting; opposite of “nay”); also used to introduce an emphatic phrase or to express enthusiasm

“Yeah” is a favorite of sullen teenage boys; “yea” is reserved for politicians taking a vote, Middle English poets, and perky cheerleaders. So, if you mean to be casual and say yes, you can write “yeah.” If you’re referring to the vote you just cast at the city council meeting, then use “yea.” For an enthusiastic, wholehearted response to your friend’s wonderful news, give it a “yea.” And remember: The one that rhymes with A, ends in A.

I’m betting dollars to donuts that some of you out there are thinking, But, Grammar Belle, what about “yay”? And how about “yah”? My dear readers, neither “yay” nor “yah” is found in Webster’s. And since that’s my dictionary of choice, I don’t use those two. But y’all go right ahead and use ’em all you want (correctly, please), since they can be found in both the Collins and Random House dictionaries.

This post made me reflect, once again, on how crazy this native language of mine can be. It’s a language in which:

Dang English!

Dang English!

No wonder it’s so hard to keep it all straight.

Thanks for stopping by! I think it’s probably time for another comma or quotation mark lesson, don’t y’all think? If you have suggestions or questions, send ’em my way. And send your friends, too, please.



I probably should have warned you about this one too.

I probably should have warned you about this one too.

14 comments on “TGB Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)

  1. addude13
    April 10, 2013

    I’ve also seen (mostly on Twitter) the kids use “ye” as shorthand for yes or yeah. And being from Philly, I also espouse “yo” — but for different purposes.

  2. mamarific
    April 10, 2013

    Congrats on your 50th post! Love the drawings…looks like you had a lot of fun with them!

  3. Connie Light
    April 10, 2013

    Thanks, Grammar Belle! How did you know I worry every time I type one of those words that I am using the incorrect one?

  4. outlawmama
    April 10, 2013

    Completely effing brilliant.

    • The Grammar Belle
      April 10, 2013

      I don’t know about that . . . but I’ll definitely quote you when I go on my world tour, OK? 🙂

  5. juliepetroski
    April 10, 2013

    Looking forward to more illustrations in the future.

  6. Corky
    April 10, 2013

    I don’t like the way “yea” looks unless it’s part of parliamentary procedure or 17th-century British literature. Wish the alternate spelling of “yay” was acceptable to Webster. In creative writing, I’ll just use a synonym like “hooray!”

    • The Grammar Belle
      April 11, 2013

      You can go right on using “yay” if you’d like. I just happen to be a Webster’s purist. 😉 Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

  7. Laura
    April 11, 2013

    Hi GB! I think we could all use a refresher on “advice” versus “advise” too. That one really irks me for some reason.

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This entry was posted on April 10, 2013 by in Spelling, Uncategorized, When Spellcheck Won't Help and tagged , , , , .

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