i've heard that theory before. Perhaps that is the origin, however i'm suspect of it. A literal meaning of يا الله would be "o god" -- which is a direct calling of god. So how the meaning would get from that religious calling of god to a more secular "let's go" or "hurry up" would need explanation.
لا أتفق. إنه ليس من الواضح أن "يالا" مشكلة من "يا الله." الكثير من الكلمات يشبه كلمات أخرى من حيث النطق وهذا لا يعني بالضرورة أن كلمة تتشكل من كلمة أخرى. مثلا كل من "إلى" و"إلا" و"اللي" (العامية) يشبه "الله." ولكننا نعرف أنها ليست من الله. فـ"يالا" أيضا ليست بالضرورة مشكلة من "يا الله" فقط لأنه تشبهها نطقا.من الواضح جدا أنها مشكلة من "يا الله" طريقة النطق توضح ذلك بشكل جلي وواضح
أما كيف تغير المعنى فالظاهر أن الناس إذا قامت لعمل شيء توكلت على الله فتقول يا الله
وشاعت على الألسن.. هذا ما أؤمن به أنا
That is a possibility. I considered that, that yalla could possibly have formed from يا الله which could have been used elliptically (perhaps for some longer phrase no longer used) which may have invoked God's name in allowing us to do something. However, I am still not convinced, because the the connection to الله is not clear and the meaning is different from "ya Allah," as Iskandarani also noted. If it did come from some religious phrase then as far as I can tell (at least in the Egyptian dialect) all religious connotations it may have had are gone. That could happen, of course, when a word or phrase is heavily used, but with other formulaic phrases that invoke الله, such as بالله and والله, the reference to God is still clear, despite heavy use over centuries.I seriously doubt that a word like this would come from Greek. I think it is indeed يا الله. The connection is not so remote if you think about it. I think it comes from the fact that people would say يا الله as they begin to leave a place or as they begin a task (من باب التوكل على الله). For example, we still say, يالله مشينا to mean "let's go." It's like saying باسم الله نبدأ.
I believe it's pronounced with a dark /l/ in most dialects - at least I have never heard it otherwise.
Notice how other people use it and try it with informal acquaintances first to see if they understand what you are trying to convey. Intonation isn't that difficult to acquire, it's just difficult to describe in words.Thanks Iskenderani. So it looks like I should avoid it because there is a high chance of getting the intonation wrong!
هذا جانب من المعاني الذي نستعمل (يالله) لإيحاءها في مصرYou can use it with a teacher, so long as you don't use too informal an intonation. 'Yalla', since it is 'pure dialect', has many separate meanings even within the same dialect. It can mean 'come on = get lost' or 'come on = hurry up' or 'come on = function properly' or 'alright then' or 'never mind' or 'wow (that is amazing)' or 'woah (that is harsh or painful)' (etc.). Many separate meanings differentiated by context and tone.
I have greek friends and never made this connection despite having known them for over two years since this thread began. I never made the connection because it's genuinely pronounced differently, though my cypriot friend does use gemination (ella), and it conveys a different meaning, more like 'here you are/there we go/voila/alors/أهو/حسنا/ها هي' ... It's used in quite a few contexts none of which really correspond with yallah. Maybe yallah is the origin for ella but it's meaning has changed completely if this is the case.Abu Rashid’s Greek theory is nonsense. The Greek word is pronounced /εla/ with no tashdīd and no tafxīm, so it does not sound anything like ياالله .
عندنا نفس العبارة بنفس المعنى بالضبط!
In Morocco, one may hear يلله (with a short a) to means "let's+verb" (which is different from يا الله). I think Algerians and Tunisians say أيا (which comes from هيا).
We also have an expression which is يا الله (not the same as the mentionned above) which means "just" or "barely". It is pronounced with a long aa but I don't know how to render it).
عجيب تبدو هذه العبارة غريبة للجزائريين وللتوانسة لهذا لم أتوقع وجودها في منطقة أخرى خصوصا واحدة بعيدة كنجد