AskDefine | Define re

Dictionary Definition



1 a rare heavy polyvalent metallic element that resembles manganese chemically and is used in some alloys; is obtained as a by-product in refining molybdenum [syn: rhenium, atomic number 75]
2 ancient hawk-headed Egyptian sun god; a universal creator [syn: Ra]
3 the syllable naming the second (supertonic) note of any major scale in solmization [syn: ray]

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

From lang=la.


  • /ɹiː/
  • Rhymes with: -iː


  1. About, regarding, with reference to; especially in letters and documents.
  • Dutch: (wat) betreft

Etymology 2


  • /reɪ/
  • Rhymes with: -eɪ


  1. A syllable used in solfège to represent the second note of a major scale.






  • /re/


  1. In the context of "Netherlands|music|lang=nl": re i second note of a major scale
  2. In the context of "Flemish|music|lang=nl}} d

Extensive Definition

Re, bre, moré (with many variants) is an interjection common to the languages of the Balkans, Turkish, Polish, and Venetian, with its "locus... more in the Greek world than elsewhere". It is used in colloquial speech to gain someone's attention, add emphasis, insult, or express surprise or astonishment, like the Spanish che.


The word probably comes from μωρέ, the vocative of the ancient Greek μωρός 'dull, sluggish, foolish, stupid'. There is a large variety of dialect forms, all derivable from μωρέ with more-or-less regular sound changes. Other hypotheses include influence or borrowing from Romany, Venetian language, or Aromanian. Some forms reflect a feminine form μωρά.
An alternative theory suggests that the word was imported to Balkans by Romani speakers, who carried it from Indic languages where aré and ré are used in a similar manner, functioning as an "interjection of calling, of astonishment, of contempt, of disrespect (as to an inferior), of anger, etc.". (to get attention), măre (archaic, expressing surprise)

In Greece

Its original pejorative meaning of 'fool, idiot' is largely lost and it is now used to mean "friend", and thus corresponds in some ways to expressions such as "mate", "pal", "man", "dude". Like these words, it may be used both before or after a phrase: "Ρε, αυτή είναι καλή μπύρα" ("Man, this is some good beer"), or, "Πάμε για καμια μπύρα, ρε" ("Let's go get a beer, man"). However, it is familiar, so it is not used to older people or to strangers, when it can be considered offensive. (The feminine version, mori, preserves the original pejorative sense regardless of context.)
Like "hey!" re can be used as an exclamation, often used to get attention or express surprise, and so it corresponds in some ways to exclamations such as "wow!".
In the general mood of the language, sometimes re by itself is considered rude, if not offensive (eg. "Stand up, re" > "You, stand up now!"). However if followed by sy ("you") or the addressee's name it is considered milder, and friendly (eg. "Stand up, re George" > "Stand up, my friend George"). Of course the above is not always standard since everything depends on the context and the intonation.
It is very common for Greeks raised in Greece but living abroad (especially in the UK) to use re semi-jokingly when speaking English in the same way they use it when they speak Greek (e.g. "Are you serious re?", "How are you re Jim?" ) Similarly, Greek rappers will use it along with the interjection man! as in "Re man".
In the Greek American community of Tarpon Springs, Florida, a variation of the word is used with the same meaning. Instead of the term Re, with the rolling of the "r", being said, the Greeks there instead say "Ray", with no rolling of the "r". "Ray" is thus said as "ray" would be said in typical English. "Ray, lets go to the Sponge Docks," or "What's up ray?" is how the term is used in Tarpon Springs. This is common only in Tarpon Springs, and the usage of the term by the Tarpon Greeks is often mocked by Greek Americans throughout the country.

"Re gamoto"

In Greece, re is often accompanied by a slang word or a profanity, such as gamoto or gamoti (γαμώτο or γαμώτη, meaning fuck!, an exclamation of fury, surprise or admiration that is considered vulgar. In 1992, in her first statement to the Greek journalists minutes after the 100 m hurdles race at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Voula Patoulidou, the surprise winner, dedicated her medal to her home country by saying "Για την Ελλάδα, ρε γαμώτο" ("For Greece, goddamit!"), a catchphrase that is still in use; it became emblematic in Greece, and was used and paraphrased in various occasions by the Greek mass media, satirists, Greek bloggers, and ordinary people.

See also


re in Bishnupriya: রে
re in Macedonian: Бре
re in Serbian: Бре

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

about, anent, apropos of, as, as for, as regards, as respects, as to, concerning, in connection with, in point of, in re, in reference to, in regard to, in relation to, in relation with, in respect to, of, on, pertaining to, pertinent to, referring to, regarding, relating to, relative to, respecting, speaking of, touching, upon, with regard to, with respect to
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