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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ahoy \A*hoy"\, interj. [OE. a, interj. + hoy.] (Naut.) A term used in hailing; as, ``Ship ahoy.'' [1913 Webster] ||

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1751, from a + hoy, a nautical call used in hauling. The original form of the greeting seems to have been ho, the ship ahoy!


interj. (context nautical English) Used to hail a ship, a boat or a person, or to attract attention. vb. To hail with a cry of "ahoy".


Ahoy or Ahoj may refer to:

  • Ahoy! (magazine)
  • Ahoy (greeting)
  • Ahoy Rotterdam, an indoor sports arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Australian Humanist of the Year, an award
  • Ahoj, an area in Nové Mesto, Bratislava
Ahoy (greeting)

Ahoy is a signal word used to call to a ship or boat, stemming from the Middle English cry, 'Hoy!'. The word had fallen into obsolescence before rising from obscurity as the sport of sailing rose in popularity. 'Ahoy' can also be used as a greeting, a warning, or a farewell.

The word can be found with similar pronunciation and writing in several other languages. In Slovak and Czech also, ahoj is a common, colloquial greeting, while 'Hoi' is used in Modern Dutch as an informal greeting equivalent to the English 'hi' or 'hey'. 'Ohøj' is used in Danish almost identically to the aforementioned usages. It stems from the sea-faring world, used as an interjection to catch the attention of other crew members, and as a general greeting. It can sometimes also be found on land spoken as a general greeting, again, especially in a maritime context.

Alexander Graham Bell originally suggested 'ahoy' be adopted as the standard greeting when answering a telephone, before ' hello' (suggested by Thomas Edison) became common.

Usage examples of "ahoy".

I had five boxes of Fiddle Faddle, two bags of Double-Stuff Oreo cookies, a ten-pack of Snickers bars, two bags of Fritos and one of Doritos, seven Gogurts in a variety of flavors, one bag of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, a box of Count Chocula, a two-pound bag of Skittles, and a six-pack of Yoo-Hoo locked in my room.

He had, through it all, clung to his bag of Chips Ahoy cookies, and now he slipped one from the bag, and dunked it into his tea.