variants or less commonly oy vay or oy veh
used to express dismay, frustration, or grief
Mail! Oy veh, I get such mail. Such mail as I never dreamed of before the advent of the Internet.Anne Bendheim

Examples of oy vey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Instead of crying ‘oy vey,’ Herbert, 24, went to work. Jay Paris, Forbes, 19 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oy vey.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Yiddish, from oy, interjection expressing surprise or dismay + vey, interjection expressing distress or grief, going back to Middle High German , going back to Old High German wah, wē, going back to Germanic *wai (whence Old English ) — more at woe entry 1

First Known Use

1914, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oy vey was in 1914

Dictionary Entries Near oy vey

Cite this Entry

“Oy vey.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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