Hey you. [socially appropriate]

pndpnd11

New Member
Russian
For example can one straight guy say that to another instead of "Hi"? Or does it allways have some kind of romantic connotatin?

And also is the title of my topic grammatically correct?) Thx.
 
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    First of all, there are many English-speaking societies (not only British and American), and notions of what's acceptable will shift. Is there a particular kind of place where you'd like to be accepted, pnd?

    There are two main meanings of "Hey, you": A) the romantic "Hey, you..." and B) the shout "Hey you!" You might use B to get someone's attention on the street, or if you wanted to start a fight with that person. It can be very aggressive.

    Two straight men would normally just say "Hey." Maybe "Hey, bro," if you want to be very macho (and a little douche-y).

    Finally in your title you should use a colon :)) instead of a period.
     

    pndpnd11

    New Member
    Russian
    Miss Julie let's say when I meet my close friend or just a colleague I want to chat to or have a drink with can I use it instead of "Hi" or is it better not to?
     
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    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    Miss Julie let's say when I meet my close friend or just a colleague I want to chat to or have a drink with can I use it instead of "Hi" or is it better not to?
    If it is a close friend, it would be all right (but not ideal). If it is a colleague, only if you're at a distance and having trouble getting his attention.
     

    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    To me, "hey you" is reserved for strangers in public situations (particularly if they may be in danger):

    Hey you! Watch out for that car! (You say "you" because it's a stranger and you don't know his/her name.)
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    I am still just completely baffled by the thought that somebody somewhere led Pndpnd1 to think that there is anything remotely romantic about "Hey, you." I guess it could be, but then almost anything can be romantic...or aggressive...or depressed sounding...or hostile...or whatever - if said in the right tone of voice and with the right body language.

    I agree that "Hey, you" is normally reserved for strangers, and even then usually at a distance.

    It is quite common (at least among people I know) to greet your friends with just "Hey," though. It basically means "Hi" or "Hello," both of which are still really common as well.
     
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    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    I am still just completely baffled by the thought that somebody somewhere lead Pndpnd1 to think that there is anything remotely romantic about "Hey, you." I guess it could be, but then almost anything can be romantic...or aggressive...or depressed sounding...or hostile...or whatever - if said in the right tone of voice and with the right body language.

    I agree that "Hey, you" is normally reserved for strangers, and even then usually at a distance.

    It is quite common (at least among people I know) to greet your friends with just "Hey," though. It basically means "Hi" or "Hello," both of which are still really common as well.
    Right. "Hey [person's name]" or just "Hey" is fine; it's "Hey you" that can be problematic.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    Right. "Hey [person's name]" or just "Hey" is fine; it's "Hey you" that can be problematic.
    Yes, exactly. It implies that you don't know the person's name, and it also implies that you can't take the time to come up with something more polite, such as "Excuse me." It's not inherently rude under certain circumstances, such as those you describe, Julie, but it's not ideal.
     

    pndpnd11

    New Member
    Russian
    I am still just completely baffled by the thought that somebody somewhere lead Pndpnd1 to think that there is anything remotely romantic about "Hey, you." I
    I guess it's urbandictionary.com's fault :)

    A phrase a girl will say to a boy, trying to be romantic. In fact, it is the most overused phrase and is a horrible turnoff.
    "Hey you."
    "CAN'T YOU SAY SOMETHING ORIGINAL FOR ONCE?"

    A greeting used by a women to tell a man that she [ CENSORED ]Most commonly used in romantic situations.
    Women : "hey you"
    Man: [ CENSORED ]

    and also a little tv-show Friends'

    Episode No 1016

    Joey: Now it just hit her that she's leaving and she's kind of emotional so no one say anything to set her off, ok?

    Monica: Yeah.

    (Rachel enters the room)

    Everybody: Hey Rach, hey you.


    Episode No215
    RACHEL: Hey you.
    ROSS: Hey you. [they stand together in front of the TV.]


    Episode No 823

    Dr. Long: Here she is!
    (She hands her to Rachel. The baby cries. Ross kisses her.)
    Rachel: Hey you. Thanks for coming out of me. Aw, I know. Oh, she’s looking at me. Hi! I love you.
    Dr. Long: Do we have a name yet?


    Episode No 901

    Ross: (confussed) Hey Joey, (Walks over to Rachel) Hey you.
    Rachel: Hey you.


    Episode No 418

    Rachel: Hi you!
    Joshua: Oh my God!
    Rachel: I know, I can do more than cook.
     

    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    ...almost anything can be romantic...or aggressive...or depressed sounding...or hostile...or whatever - if said in the right tone of voice and with the right body language.
    And on a TV show. :)

    pndpnd11, the use of "hey you" on the show "Friends" was a special circumstance...not the usual use of the phrase.

    And Urban Dictionary can be misleading; don't rely on it.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    It's just a greeting. As a greeting, it can have romantic overtones, but then so can every other greeting if given under the right circumstances and with the right tone of voice. But there's nothing overtly or implicitly romantic about it, and in fact, as Julie demonstrated, it's mostly used between strangers at a distance: "Hey, you! Watch out for that taxi!"
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    :(

    :(:mad:

    Thank you all very much.
    :):thumbsup:

    (Thx is fine if you're using a mobile phone and/or your clothes are on fire, PND. We prefer Nice English here, i.e. thanks or thankyou:))

    P.S. I agree with everyone else that Hey you! is probably best reserved for calling the attention of someone about to be run over by a bus because he's absorbed in sending a text message.

    Its use in Friends is (or was) toe-curlingly twee
    :p
     
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    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    Well urbandictionary.com has helped me a lot before. I guess not this time. Thank you all very much.
    Urbandictionary.com contains a significant number of entries for which there is only one source - the person who wrote up that entry, who is of course talking about how he and perhaps his friends use it, or at least how he thinks they use it. As such, it should always be taken with several grains of salt. It has its uses, but it certainly isn't definitive, and I don't think it even pretends to be.

    And here, if it's really saying that the main use for "Hey you" is romantic....well, it's completely wrong. Really. :)
     

    Miss Julie

    Senior Member
    English-U.S.
    Urbandictionary.com contains a significant number of entries for which there is only one source - the person who wrote up that entry, who is of course talking about how he and perhaps his friends use it, or at least how he thinks they use it. As such, it should always be taken with several grains of salt. It has its uses, but it certainly isn't definitive, and I don't think it even pretends to be.
    And thus the site should really be called Urban Anecdotes. :eek:
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    pndpnd11 said:
    JustKate absolutely, but I just thoght that entries that had at least several hudread thumb-ups are usually more or less credible
    I'm trying really hard not to come up with unflattering names for people who really and truly think anything as pedestrian and impersonal as "Hey you" counts as romantic dialogue...and I'm failing. So let's just say that no matter how many thumbs-up it gets, I assure you that its primary use is as Julie, Ewie and I have described it. No friend that you greet with "Hey you" is going to think you're flirting with him or her unless you work a lot harder at being flirty than that.

    My husband and I call each other "Fred." No, that isn't my name, nor is it his name, nor is it anything like our actual names, nor is this even a tiny bit common in the culture in which we live. But I could write up an entry for Urban Dictionary saying "Fred: an endearment used between a man and a woman who just aren't that into endearments such as 'my dearest darling'," and I'd bet you good money that somebody (presumably other people who don't like to use mushy endearments) will give it a thumbs-up.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Hm... when pnd suggested a romantic reading of "Hey, you" I could immediately hear it: lowered voice, maybe a little breathy, stretch out the vowels, then raise the eyebrows on the "you" - "Heeeeeeeeeeey, you." So I would say that there is at least a recognizable way to say "Hey, you" and give it a romantic slant. But it's all in the pronunciation, which is really hard to discuss here.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    Hm... when pnd suggested a romantic reading of "Hey, you" I could immediately hear it: lowered voice, maybe a little breathy, stretch out the vowels, then raise the eyebrows on the "you" - "Heeeeeeeeeeey, you." So I would say that there is at least a recognizable way to say "Hey, you" and give it a romantic slant. But it's all in the pronunciation, which is really hard to discuss here.
    Sure there is. There are also a romantic ways to say "Hello," "How are you?" and "Would you like fries with that?" :)D OK, so I cracked myself up with that last one. But still, it's possible.) But romance isn't the primary purpose of any of those.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm minded to agree with lucas. Whilst it's true that you could in theory make anything sound romantic if you put your mind to it, this is not the same as saying that everything operates as a euphemism for 'I love you', or 'I have feelings for you', and I think that 'hey you' can operate in exactly this way, subject, of course, to the appropriate felicity conditions.

    I cannot say whether this is solely 'girl on boy' stuff, but I do think such an expression to be the preserve of, let's say, younger types - I don't know, under the under thirty fives, say.

    I'd also say, and this ought to set the cat and the pigeons, that it's predominantly an AE usage.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    Urban Dictionary's first definition, the one with by far the most acceptance, is "A person will use this greeting when he or she forgets the other person's name and tries to hide that fact." (It also lists the song by Pink Floyd, by the way!:D That's definition #3, right after the definition PND quoted.) You need to check the listing in Urban Dictionary. I think it might shake your confidence in how widespread this "romantic line" definition actually is. Honestly, most of the definitions just sound like kids fooling around on the interwebs.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    I make no claims as to how widespread it is. It clearly has other, more established meanings; of that, there's no doubt.

    I simply recognize it, from who-knows-where? Telly, most likely.

    What sense does it have in the Pink Floyd song?
     

    mysig

    New Member
    English & Urdu
    'Hey you' can be, and often is, used as a flirtatious opening gambit while you look your man/woman in the eye; lips curled, expression all playful like. I suppose, depending on the delivery, it can have a certain romantic undertone.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    I make no claims as to how widespread it is. It clearly has other, more established meanings; of that, there's no doubt.

    I simply recognize it, from who-knows-where? Telly, most likely.

    What sense does it have in the Pink Floyd song?
    The conventional sense...well, as conventional as Pink Floyd can be. The first few lines of the song are "Hey you, out there in the cold/ Getting lonely, getting old/ Can you feel me?/ Hey you, standing in the aisles/ With itchy feet and fading smiles/ Can you feel me?" Here's a link to what appears to be a fairly accurate rendering of the lyrics.

    Edit:
    mysig said:
    'Hey you' can be, and often is, used as a flirtatious opening gambit while you look your man/woman in the eye; lips curled, expression all playful like. I suppose, depending on the delivery, it can have a certain romantic undertone.
    But in answer to the question in the OP, PND can still use this phrase without friends and strangers automatically assuming he's flirting, right? I mean, it's the delivery that makes it flirty, not the words themselves.

    And I blame it all on Friends, by the way. ;)
     
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    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    My wife and I have been using "Hey, you" to greet each other since before we were married, which according to Wikipedia was a year before Friends first aired. And I used it with other female friends (none of whom seemed to object) several years before that.

    But I agree that its primary use is as a shout to get someone's attention.
     
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