Yes/No .. Yea/Nay .. Aye/No?

This Wikipedia article offers very interesting information about the history of yes/no/yea/nay in the English language — Yes and no - Wikipedia — but it seems to fall down a bit when it comes to “aye,” which it notes only as a colloquial usage, primarily in Scotland.

However, in the U.S. Congress, “aye” is frequently used, and I noticed a recent link on these boards to a vote in the New Zealand parliament that used “aye” in the same way.

The U.S. Constitution actually uses “yea/nay” —

However, most reports of votes use “yes/no” but most votes I have been present for in committees have used “aye/no.”

Any insight on why “aye”? And why “aye” is paired with “no” instead of “nay”?

I associate “aye” with those old movies about the British navy - “aye-aye, sir!”

I do foresee a problem with a spoken word vote where both sound almost the same, “yay” and “nay”

IIRC Arlen Specter was a fan of the Scot’s method of voting.

Is that a joke or something? Or is there actually something that Arlen Specter did or said?

He voted ‘Not Proved’ in the Impeachment of Bill Clinton.

From here:

The British House of Commons used to use ‘Yeas’ and ‘Noes’, but now uses ‘Ayes’ and ‘Noes’. According to the second footnote here, the change was made ‘some 200 years ago’, although it was less than fifty years ago that the Journal of the House of Commons caught up with this. Whereas the US Congress still seems to be stuck in the eighteenth century.:slight_smile:

I heard a comedian poll the audience about something, and asked, “How many ‘Ayes’?”, then, “How many ‘Noes’?”, and then finally commenting, “As usual, the ‘ayes’ are above the ‘noes’!”

If that does not seem funny to you, say it out loud.