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be in (one's) heyday

To be in the period of one's greatest success, power, vigor, etc. I was making millions of dollars each year when I was in my heyday as a stock broker, but when the economy crashed, I lost nearly everything. Everyone thought she was in her heyday when she won her gold medal at the Olympics, but her athletic career was only just beginning.
See also: heyday

but hey

A phrase used to downplay or contradict a previous statement. I'm kind of busy right now, but hey, I always have time for you. What's up? I thought we were supposed to be there at 8, but hey, what do I know?
See also: but, hey

hay is for horses

cliché Used as a humorous or sarcastic retort to someone who has attempted to get one's attention by saying or shouting, "Hey!" A: "Hey, Dad!" B: "Hay is for horses, Billy. Say 'excuse me' if you want my attention."
See also: for, hay, horse


1. Used as a greeting (as a substitute for "hello"). A: "Hey, John, nice to see you!" B: "Hey, Sarah, nice to see you too!"
2. Used to attract someone's attention. Hey, mister! You dropped something over there! Hey! HEY! Look over here!
3. Used to express any sudden reaction, such as surprise, indignation, wonder, etc. Hey, watch it, pal! You almost ran into me! Hey, what's this pocket watch doing in here? A: "Try some of this soup I'm making." B: "Hey, that's pretty good!"
4. Used as a confirmational marker at the end of a sentence to invite the listener to respond. A variant of "eh," primarily heard in Canada. Nice weather today we're having today, hey?

hey presto

interjection A phrase said when doing or producing something very quickly or easily. Primarily heard in UK. All I need to do is reconfigure your IP address and... hey presto! Your connection is back to normal. See? We just cut the folded piece of paper in a few spots, unfold the whole thing and, hey presto—a snowflake!
See also: hey, presto

hey, Rube

A call for help. It originated among members of traveling circuses in the late 19th century. The carnival performer yelled out, "Hey, Rube!" as the unruly crowd advanced on him.
See also: rube

in (one's) heyday

In, at, or during the period of one's greatest success, power, vigor, etc. In my heyday as a stock broker, I was making millions of dollars each year, but when the economy crashed, I lost nearly everything.
See also: heyday

what the hey

slang Why not? An aside used to emphasize one's nonchalance toward something. Often used as a euphemistic substitution for "what the hell." Sure, I'm not doing anything today, let's go to the beach—what the hey? What the hey, I'll go to the movies with you tonight.
See also: hey, what
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hey ˈpresto

(British English) (American English ˈpresto) people sometimes say hey presto when they have just done something so quickly and easily that it seems to have been done by magic: You just press the button and, hey presto, a perfect cup of coffee! Presto is an Italian word meaning ‘quick’ or ‘quickly’.
See also: hey, presto

what the ˈhey!

(American English, spoken) it doesn’t matter; I don’t care: This is probably a bad idea, but what the hey!
See also: what
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

But, hey

phr. a sentence opener used often to get attention and perhaps contradict a previous remark. A: Please don’t track sand all over the restaurant carpet! B: But, hey, it’s my vacation!
See also: hey


interj. hello. (Colloquial. A standard greeting in much of the South, and now heard everywhere.) Hey, Walter. How are you?

Hey, bum!

interj. hello. Hey, bum! So good to see your smiling face.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

hey, Rube!

A rallying cry for assistance when trouble breaks out. The phrase began in the days of touring carnivals and circuses. A carnival or circus performer or stagehand who found himself in an argument or altercation with patrons or other outsiders yelled, “hey, Rube,” the signal for his colleagues to run and help him out. An item in the Chicago Tribune in 1882 explained that “a canvasman watching a tent is just like a man watching his home. He'll fight in a minute if the outsider cuts the canvas [to sneak in], and if a crowd comes to quarrel—he will yell, ‘Hey, Rube!' That's the circus rallying cry, and look out for war when you hear it.” “Rube” might have been the name of an actual person summoned for assistance, although another possibility is that “rube” referred, as it still does, to country bumpkins; that is, to members of rural carnival and circus audiences who were likely to start trouble.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in periodicals archive ?
Hey was holding a craft knife during the fracas on September 7, the court heard.
Sarah added: "We can't thank Alder Hey enough, not only for the treatment Sam received but the care and kindness we all had as a family."
"Hey girl, I don't believe women should have a choice.
sapiens split into separate African populations around 200,000 years ago, Hey says.
Miss Naomi Gilchrist, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said Hey worked in the Birmingham office of building maintenance company Carter Thermal Industries where he had abused his position of trust.
Tom Davies and Theo Walcott, right, meet a patient at Alder Hey
Here are the Hey Arnold Movie character designs Craig Bartlett revealed at our #NickAnimation25 #SDCC panel!
Hey called around for a coffee on September 7 but he left at 6.20pm after making derogatory remarks about her new man.
This trio of singing and dancing mums felt that they had what it took to do something about this and created the Hey Diddles.
Hey Snails is a fun and safe virtual world for kids where they can chat, hang around, make new friends and play games.
McCartney got the crowd to sing along to "Hey Jude," creating one of the most magical moments of the Danny Boyle-directed opening ceremony.
Tyler said several of the calendar pieces will be on display and available for sale at Hey Day.
Alder Hey is included in all four options, but Mr Twigg said Merseysiders still needed to show support to make sure it kept its status.
WE'RE IN THIS for the skate stoke just like you but, hey, this is a business.