'bout ye?

  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    As always, context, full sentence, are golden.

    I believe that it's a slang contraction of "how about you" and that it's mostly heard in some BE-speaking regions.

    A: How are you?
    B: Cool. 'bout ye?


    Senior Member
    American English
    I can only guess, without context. Following are some examples of how it could work:

    (Pirate language:)
    Ay, matey! Whar ye headed?
    (Hey, fellow, where are you going?)
    Up the cove and around the horn! How 'bout ye? Whar's yer compass pointin'?
    (Up the cove and around the horn! How about you? Where are you going?)


    Senior Member
    English English
    I agree with both your versions, Biblio and MJ. The version in my head was:
    Have you a cutlass 'bout ye, good knight?
    [Have you got a cutlass about your person ...?] (or are you just pleased to see me?)


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    This BBC site attributes, apparently accurately, this greeting's use to Northern Ireland. The site also adds:
    Accepted as a formal greeting even in polite society in the province.

    It refers to it as "largely rhetorical," which I suppose would apply to more widespread greetings like "How are you," "How are you doing," and "What's up."

    (Disclaimer: Though it's a BBC website, the entry seems to be written at least partially in a humorous vein, so its accuracy may be lacking.)


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I can vouch for the accuracy of the BBC in this respect, at least.
    It is not a greeting I would use in formal contexts, or indeed at all, being a kind of formal kind of a person. But I have heard it often and it is the caricature greeting of the Belfast working man.
    It is possible to buy mugs emblazoned with 'bout ye - in the tourist shops.

    Just as every Australian wears a hat with dangling corks, every Scot wears a kilt, every American wears loud shorts and carries a camera, everyone in the south of Ireland says "Top of the morning"; so all of us in Northern Ireland say "'bout ye" as a greeting.


    New Member
    English - Norn Iron
    obviously none of you have any idea :L

    'bout ye is a greeting considered formal in northern ireland. it means something along the the lines of "hello, how are you?"
    similar to "alright?"
    used by most citizens of belfast, even me, and im only 11 and im a girl. :D

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