News

Loading...

Monday, September 03, 2012

Hey Boss

Do any of you outside of New York greet people in the above fashion? Here, it's very common in a setting where you know someone well by sight but not at all by name. So, for instance, when I walk into a local deli, the owner will greet me with, "Hey boss, what's up?"

I had never heard this before moving to the Big Apple.

10 comments:

  1. My grandad (born, raised, and strolling towards death's door in Baltimore) uses it on occasion, but "Hey Chief" is more common from him, to mean the same thing.

    He'll say that to me - not necessarily to someone he only knows by sight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps he doesn't remember your name, Bill. I mean Stan. Oh, er, Daniel.

      Delete
  2. Yes, I hear it quite a bit. Actually, I noticed that Arab-Americans are more prone to say it than most other people that I meet. I don't know why, but it is something that I noticed.

    I do hear "hey chief" or "hey dude" more often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are quite a few Arabs in my neighborhood -- Atlantic Avenue is famous for its early (1920s) Arab immigrant community -- and perhaps it "leaked" from them into the broader community. If that is so, I would imagine that there is an Arab idiom similar to "Hey boss."

      Delete
    2. That's interesting, I hadn't thought about that. I know a few Arabs around my neighborhood, I might ask them. I guess that I just assumed that it was the other way around, that it is an American idiom (though, a rare one) and that for some reason Arabs picked up on it easily.

      Because it is so rare, I always notice it when somebody says it and take note of who it is saying it.

      Delete
    3. The first people I remember hearing it from were Arab shopkeepers in the hood.

      Delete
    4. Well, shoot. You just described every Arab that I know, and I am not even kidding.

      Delete
  3. The guy at the Subway I go to in Chicago (who is Arab)says Hey Boss to me all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the evidence is mounting that this is an idiomatic expression in Arabic that is now gaining currency in English. Let me take a look.

      Delete
    2. It apparently is prevalent in Hinglish.

      Delete