That Rhys Darby. He’s a funny bloke, aye.
His stuff in Short Poppies and Flight of the Conchords was hilarious, aye?
And his new one, What We Do In The Shadows…That looks great, ayyye!?
Confused. Me to. The phrase ‘aye’ is huge in New Zealand. Chances are you heard it banded around every few minutes during Flight of the Conchords by its comically gifted Kiwi cast but exactly how and when should it be used in everyday conversation?
A few weeks ago I caught up with Rhys Darby (AKA Conchords manager Murray Hewitt) for a quick chat ahead of his current UK stand-up tour. Before our interview came to an end, I thought it’d be a crime to pass up the chance to get a first-hand tutorial from the ‘Aye’-master himself. What follows is a dissection of the phrase and a detailed explanation of how you can incorporate it into your day-to-day life.
That’s good, aye.
So go on Rhys, what’s the correct way to ‘Aye’?
“It’s got a few methods, there’s a few uses of it…”
“One of the most obvious ones is when you don’t hear someone very well, that’s the first one. So someone says something you’d go ‘Aye?’ That’s basically just a quick version of saying ‘Sorry, could you repeat that?’”
“The second one is to re-affirm your position. So you could say ‘I think that was the best film in the world, aye’…so you’re giving your position and enforcing it, hoping they’re going to agree with you by suggesting that they do by saying ‘Aye’. So when you go, ‘It’s the best thing in the world Ay?’ the person you’re saying it to has to agree because you said ‘Aye’. They’d go ‘oh yeah!’ so it’s enforcing your position upon someone,”
“The other use of it is just in general where you say ‘Let’s go down to the shops, aye?’. Once again, there you’re confirming with them that they’re going to say yes if you say ‘Aye’. ‘I like those, aye?’, ‘Let’s go down to the shops, aye?’…”
“Another one is where you go ‘OH these are good, AYYYYE?’, you can really accentuate the ‘Aye’ part of it and that really enforces that you really believe these things are good. Like if you’ve got a new pair of shoes, you’d go ‘These are pretty good, ayyye?’ and your mate would go ‘aah yeah!’ and they can’t really use it then. They wouldn’t go ‘Yeah I wouldn’t mind a pair of those, aye’. They could but it’s a sort of over use of it really. If you use it first you sort of own it and the other guy can’t really come back for a couple of sentences with it.”
Rhys Darby is currently in the UK touring his new show Mr Adventure. For a full list of tour dates head here.
In the meantime, you can read my full interview with Rhys from June’s issue of Loaded below via the worst scanning job in the world.
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