Oi /ɔɪ/ is an interjection used in various varieties of the English language, particularly British English, Australian English, New Zealand English, Canadian English, Irish English, Malaysian English, Singaporean English and South African English, as well as Hindi/Urdu, Portuguese and Japanese to get the attention of another person or to express surprise or disapproval. "Oi" has been particularly associated with working class and Cockney speech. It is effectively a local pronunciation of "hoy" (see H-dropping), an older expression. A study of the Cockney dialect in the 1950s found that whether it was being used to call attention or as a challenge depended on its tone and abruptness. The study's author noted that the expression is "jaunty and self-assertive" as well as "intensely cockney". A poll of non-English speakers by the British Council in 2004 found that "oi" was considered the 61st most beautiful word in the English language. A spokesman commented that "Oi is not a word that I would've thought turned up in English manuals all that often." "Oi" was added to the list of acceptable words in US Scrabble in 2006.
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