In the English language, yo has become a common interjection that originated decades ago in the Philadelphia region. It is often interchangeable with the word "hey," as in "Yo, what's up? or, "Yo! Wait for me!" While the word can also stand alone as a greeting, like the word "hey," it also has a wide range of meanings that depend on the tone, context, and situation in which it is used. (see examples)
In more recent times the word has spread into hip-hop or gangsta culture. A parody of such usage forms the basis for a comic exchange between the animated characters played by Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese (Shark Tale, 2004), which can be viewed here (http://yoism.org/index.php?id=YoST/).
Members of this later cultural scene may claim its origin as theirs. The word's origin, however, clearly predates these recent uses, as is evidenced by the words of Rocky Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone)
"Yo, Adrienne, it's me, Rocky..." Rocky Balboa (Rocky, 1976)
"Yo, Adrienne. We did it!" Rocky Balboa (Rocky II, 1979)
If someone is bothering you, "Yo!" becomes the equivalent of saying "Hey! Stop it," or "Knock it off!"
If someone accidentially bumped into you, the expression "Yo!" could be interpreted as "Hey! Watch it," or "What the hell!"
If someone did something that amazed you or shocked you, the word yo is like laughing or just an expression of amazement.
1) A contraction of the possessive prenominal adjective "your."
2) An informal address or title to one whose name is not known to another; can be used as an interrogative address.
3)A declaritive or imperative exclaimation, whether alone or within a sentence.
1) How's yo momma?
2) Hey, yo! What's up, yo?
3) Yo! What the hell do you think you are doing?! Yo, just do your job! YO!
Another Way of saying "hey" or "hi"
Yo, Come here
the one word that can be added to almost any sentence and work
I need a book on how to sleep with a sheet yo.
a slang way of saying hello, usually friendly and casual
Yo, Chris, what's up?
1) Substitution for "Greetings!"
2) Dislexic Rabbi speak
3) Filler-speech when a need to look "gangsta" is at hand
4) Half of a "Yo-yo"
1) "Yo Homeslice!"
2) "Yo vei!"
3) "Dat Crunk Cup is the shit, yo yo yo!"
4) "I... forgot... mah... helmet... on... da... short... bus... wiff... mah... Yo-... *drools and falls off highchair*"
A word who's origin is made to be puzzling, but is really made famous by the Movie "Rocky" and by various rappers. Yo is a word deeply connected in the Philadelphia culture, therefore; no, it is not used only by "little black kids" or "wannabe suburbans" like the definitions before it has stated.
A history lesson about the word's popular use in Philly from the New York Times:
"In the 1930's a large proportion of the residents of South Philadelphia were Italian immigrants, mostly from the Campania region of southern Italy, the principal city of which is Naples.
In the Neapolitan dialect "guaglione" (pronounced guahl-YO-nay) signified a young man. The chiefly unlettered immigrants shortened that to guahl-YO, which they pronounced whal-YO. That was inevitably further shortened to yo. The common greeting among young Italian-American males was "Hey, whal-YO!", and then simply, "Yo!" And so it remains today."
Sorry for this long post, but I had to handle my business about my city.
And the "Yo" is the pronounciation of the word "you're," is usually spelled yo'.
"Yo man, that jawn was hot yesturday, yo."
"Yo, I can't believe they ran out of cherry wooder ice!"
"Yo! Come here!"
a word that died a horrible death in 1993 but still manages to haunt us through usage by white kids in nice neighborhoods who by some strange dementia think they are from the projects. you poor unfortunate soul.
Lookit me, i'm hardcore gangster. One day i'm playin in the front yard in my striped t shirt beating the dog witha stick and the next day i'm out sellin weed pimpin my 82 buick while blastin Lil Wayne. I'm real tough and straight from the hood, YO.