A pirate might say "ahoy!"
When you are going to board a ship and want to say hello to someone on the ship using traditional nautical lingo, this is an example of a time when you might say ahoy.
Origin of ahoya(h) + hoy
- Traditionally, when used from a ship to hail an approaching boat, the standard responses are:
- "aye aye", if a commissioned officer is in the boat;
- "no no", if no officer is in the boat;
- name of ship, if the captain of another ship is in the boat;
- "flag" if an admiral is in the boat.
(third-person singular simple present ahoys, present participle ahoying, simple past and past participle ahoyed)
- To hail with a cry of "ahoy".
From "a-hoy"; 'hoy' being a Middle English greeting dating back to the fourteenth century.