Oct 21 • 5M

Yo!

The interjection made famous by Rocky Balboa may be older than you think.

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John McWhorter
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Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers in Rocky, released in 1977.

The word “yo” — as in “Yo Adrian, I did it!” — is thought to have originated sometime in the 1940s or so among Italians in Philadelphia. But there’s a case to be made that it traces back to Old English. John explains.

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