With all due respect to my esteemed colleague rgoer
, the usage of Way (and by extension, No Way
) is both more complex
and more widespread
than is stated in the writeup of 17:11:49 on September 23, 2002
Certainly the colloquialism received a boost in popularity and usage from the Wayne's World SNL sketches and movies, but the terms have been in common usage among our young people for several years 1 before the first occurrence thereof.
In the common vernacular, an individual (the party of the first part) might state or imply some fact. If a listener (the party of the second part) is in doubt as to the fact's veracity, he or she might exclaim "No Way" as a shorthand for stating
"I am skeptical of your claim; perhaps you were speaking in jest"?
It is this circumstance in which the ejaculation "Way" might be appropriate, and should be interpreted to mean,
"I am not speaking in jest, nor am I mistaken. The facts are indeed as I purport them to be".
At this point, if the party of the second part is not convinced, he or she may repeat the expression "No Way" to mean
"No disrespect intended, but perhaps if you were to reexamine your chain of reasoning, or perhaps your conscience, you would realize that your statement should not, after all, be taken at face value".
In a similar vein, the party of the first part might reiterate "Way" to imply
"All reasonable verifications and authentications have been made, and I stand firm upon my original pronouncement".
One party or the other must eventually respond with some other phrase. If this option is taken by the party of the first part, it is an admission
. If taken by the party of the second part, it demonstrates and acceptance
of the original statement.
Note that the party of the first part need not respond "Way" in the initial case. Especially in the case of attempted humor, it is often best to respond to the initial "No Way" with an acknowledgement of the jest.
1 several years :
The first Wayne's World sketch was aired in 1989. I, personally, was corrected in 1986 to say "Way" when I made the faux paus of responding to "No Way" with "Yes Way". I have no hard evidence of anything over three years, but research continues.