fbpx Skip to Content

Yiy — Here’s What It Really Means

Yiy — Here’s What It Really Means

Sharing is caring!

If you’ve heard a friend, TV character, or musician use the term “yiy” and are wondering what they mean, you’ve come to the right place. 

“Yiy” is the Jamaican word for “eye.” The language spoken in Jamaica is known as Patois, which bears a strong resemblance to the Creole language that is spoken in parts of Louisiana.

If you’re wondering why someone who speaks standard English as their mother tongue would choose to say “yiy” instead of “eye,” read on. 

This article will showcase the importance of using the traditional Jamaican spelling and pronunciation of “yiy,” and will demonstrate how American slang has been influenced by Caribbean expressions. 

It will also teach you how to incorporate Jamaican-influenced slang in your texting lingo! 


What does “yiy” mean?

The term ‘yiy’, originating from Jamaican Patois, stands for ‘eye’ and shares the same pronunciation. This use of ‘yiy’ in English isn’t merely a creative alternative for ‘eye’, but also a symbol of cultural pride for Jamaicans. When this slang term surfaces in conversation, it serves as a nod to Jamaican heritage, imbuing the dialogue with cultural richness and diversity.

Jamaican Patois Creole Language

How to use “yiy” in texting

Unless you are Jamaican and have an authentic accent, it is unlikely that people will be able to tell whether you are saying “eye” or “yiy.” 

Over text, however, the difference between the words is quite clear. Here are some great ways that you can pay homage to Jamaican culture and language by using the word “yiy” over text.  

When you use any of these examples, make sure you show appropriate respect for the unique traditions and history of the Caribbean region and of the island of Jamaica. 

Interestingly, “yiy” can be used to mean both “eye” (singular) and “eyes” (plural). 

“Yiy” is often used in the context of the phrase “yiy change,” which is a way to say “sleep” in Jamaican Patois.


18 excellent examples of how to use “yiy” in a text

  1. Good morning, how was your yiy change? 
  2. I got my yiy on you!
  3. I don’t believe anything I can’t see with my yiy. 
  4. You’re talking nonsense, you need a yiy change. 
  5. Give it to me straight and stop trying to pull the wool over my yiy. 
  6. I can see right through you, man…my yiy don’t lie. 
  7. My yiy keep closing man, I’m so tired. 
  8. I can’t keep my yiy open anymore. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
  9. I don’t trust you…next time I see you, look in my yiy and promise me you’re speaking the truth. 
  10. I need a yiy change, I’m ready for bed. 
  11. You’ll feel better after a yiy change, I promise!
  12. Change ya yiy and then get back to me.
  13. My yiy almost popped out of my head when I saw you, you’re that beautiful. 
  14. When I see you, I can’t believe my yiy…you’re an angel. 
  15. My yiy don’t deceive me, I know what I saw. 
  16. Your inner yiy is your strongest guide. 
  17. The yiy on you…I’ll never get enough of them. 
  18. Hey, how are you? Can’t wait to get my yiy on you again. 


Drake and the meaning of “yiy” 

The most well-known use of the word “yiy” in pop culture is in Drake’s song “Controlla.”

This dancehall tune starts with the lyrics, “My yiy just changed/you just buzzed the front gate.” 

Drake first used this line in a mixtape that he created alongside the artists DJ Creep Chromatic and Popcaan.

The meaning of a “yiy change” is a change in a person’s eyes. This can be through sleep or through taking perception-changing substances. 

Eye changes are also caused by becoming excited about something.

For example, in the song “Controlla,” Drake is presumably excited about seeing the woman who is visiting him, who “just buzzed the front gate.” 

While Drake does not personally have Jamaican roots, he was raised in a city whose culture has been shaped by its large Caribbean population.

Drake is from Toronto, Canada, which has a hopping dancehall culture.

Drake frequently pays homage to the Patois language and Jamaican culture, so it makes sense that he would incorporate the word “yiy” in his songs. 

As the son of an African American father, Dennis Graham, a drummer from Memphis, Tennessee, Drake also considers himself part of the pan-African diaspora and has forged connections to Caribbean culture as a result. 

The Meaning of Yiy


Jamaican texting slang

“Yiy” is not the only word of Jamaican origin that has become a staple of American slang.

There are plenty of other examples of ways in which Caribbean-inflected English or even fully Patois words have taken root in the colloquial English of the 21st century. 

Here are a few other slang terms that originate from Jamaican Patois and have now become incorporated in other English dialects, including American English.


Wah yuh ah seh?

“Wah yuh ah she?” is the Jamaican Patois for “What are you saying?”, which is an alternative way of saying “What are you up to?” or “What’s up?”  

Example: How to use “Wah yuh ah seh” in a text

Wah yuh ah seh?
Want to meet up later? 



A duppy is an evil spirit in Jamaican Patois. It is now used as slang in some other English dialects to refer to people one doesn’t like. 

Example: How to use “Duppy” in a text 

He’s such a duppy…he’s gonna have so much bad karma.



“Ting” is the Jamaican Patois word for “thing.” Informally, “ting” is slang for an attractive woman. 

Example: How to use “ting” in a text 

I saw this gorgeous ting last night…she was so fine.


Ya dun no

“Ya dun no” is a Jamaican Patois phrase that means, “You done know,” as in “You already know.” 

It is used to express agreement with something that has been said. 

Example: How to use “Ya dun no” in a text 

Ya dun no. Ain’t that the truth. 



“Yute” is a Jamaican Patois way to refer to a young person. It is a variation on the word “youth.” 

Example: How to use “yute” in a text 

How’s your little brother, the yute? 



“Yard” is the Patois word for home or home area. It originates from the word “backyard” but now generally just means the place you live in slang.

Example: How to use “yard” in a text 

Hey man, I haven’t seen you in a while. Come by my yard later? 



“Irie” is a slang term for “Alright,” as in “Everything is alright,” that originates from Jamaican Patois. People use “Irie” to communicate that they are feeling fine and that everything is okay. 

Example: How to use “Irie” in a text  

Are you feelin’ irie this morning? How was yuh yiy change? 


Wah Gwaan

“Wah gwaan” is a way of greeting others in Jamaica. It essentially means, “What’s going on?” or “How are you?” 

Example: How to use “Wah gwaan?” in a text

Wah gwaan?
How how’ve you been lately?


The meaning of “yoy”

The meaning of “YOY” in text is “Why oh why?” This is an expression commonly used when one feels in a state of disbelief that something has happened. 

For example, someone might say, “YOY did you do that?” or “YOY am I like this?”

While typing out “Why oh why?” sounds quite antiquated, “yoy” puts a contemporary, slangy twist on the old expression. 

That said, “you” might be a typo of “you,” so have a good look at the context before you jump to any conclusions about what the person you are talking to is saying. 


The meaning of “Yoi”

In addition to being one of the other common typos of “you,” “yoi” is also shorthand for the anime series “Yuri on Ice.”

Yuri is a competitive figure skater who develops a romantic relationship with his coach Viktor Nikirov. 

Yuri on Ice (YoI) has become a cult classic for figure skaters and members of the LGBTQI+ community. 

If someone refers to “YOI” or “yoi” while in conversation about a TV series or about media, they care about, they probably mean “Yuri on Ice.” 

For example, someone might say, “My favorite watch ever was YOI,” or, “That outfit is giving me serious yoi vibes.” 

“Yoi” can also be an alternative way of saying, “Yo” to get someone’s attention. 

For example, you could use “Yoi” in text like this: “Yoi! Are you ignoring me or something,” or “Yoi girl! How’s it going?”


The meaning of “iy”

“IY” or “iy” in text usually means “including you.” 

When “iy” is used to mean “including you,” it is generally in the context for a practical or planning conversation.

This could be in a work email when you want to tell someone “just a heads up” professionally about an upcoming meeting. 

For example, you could say, “Just a head’s up, I have booked the downstairs conference room for Tuesday because we’ll be 32, iy.” 

“Iy” can also be used when texting a close friend about upcoming weekend or holiday plans. For example, you could say, “So half of us (iy) want to do the boat trip, and the other half want to go to the waterpark. How do we deal with this…any ideas?” 

Sometimes “iy” is used to mean “it’s you.” For example, if you don’t mind putting someone in the position of responding to an “I have a crush on you” text, you could say, “You know how I’ve been telling you that I like someone? Well, iy.” 


The meaning of “yqy” in slang 

The most common meaning of “yqy” in slang is “Yas queen yas”…whatever your preferred spelling of that saying is. 

“Yas queen yas” can mean anything from “that’s fabulous” to “slay” to “you look fierce” to “you do you.” It is a way to acknowledge that someone is feeling themselves, owning their truth, and living their best life. 

The phrase “Yas queen yas” is often used to endorse comments online, to compliment someone’s looks, or to express support for someone being assertive in real life. 

“Yas queen” (or “Yas kween”) originated in New York’s 1980s voguing and ball culture, which involved drag shows and dance performances. Audience members encouraged dancers and drag queens by yelling “Yas” at them in support. 

The phrase “Yas Queen” has now spread out from the ball sub-culture and is widely used on the internet and increasingly in real life. It then became shortened to “yqy” for quick reference. 

Just as you can get dramatic with your spelling of “YAS QUEEN YASSSS!!!!!”, you can also make “yqy” a little flashier. 

Depending on how extra you want to be, you can capitalize it (YQY) or add exclamation marks (YQY!!!!).

Here are some examples of how to use “yqy” in a text: 

  • “Yqy! you’re slaying that ‘fit” 
  • “YQY!! You’re fabulous.” 
  • “Yqy, you tell him, girl!!”
  • “Yqy, you deserve so much better anyway…” 
  • “YQY! your eyebrows look incredible.” 
  • “Yqy! I’m so proud of you.” 
  • “YQY! No one can hold you back.” 


The meaning of “yiyi”

“Yiyi” is a slang term of Chinese origin that is used to refer to something “exceptionally good” or “extraordinary.” 

It is sometimes used to refer to a girl who is totally stunning or unbelievably intelligent. We often congratulate people on having a partner who is a yiyi. 

Here are a few examples of how you could use “yiyi” in a text: 

  • “That girl is a straight-up yiyi” 
  • “Do you think you’re a yiyi, or what?” 
  • “For a yiyi, you’re very humble.” 
  • “Yoi, did you get that yiyi’s number last night?”
  • “She’s so smart, no one can keep up with her…she’s a yiyi” 
  • “I’m so happy you’re in a new relationship. She looks like a total yiyi.”  


If someone calls you a yiyi, you should try to work out in what sense they mean it. 

It usually relates to appearance and general vibe, so as soon as you receive a “yiyi” text, you can start thinking about how to respond to someone complimenting your looks.


After all, there are a lot of abbreviations with 3 letters circulating on the internet. Yyi is really just scratching the surface. 

Have you heard about the slang abbreviation “huu” yet?