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Old 02-25-2005, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 173
Why is it common to use "aye" and "nay" for voice votes?

Sorry if this has been discussed here previously, but I can't really do a search for the words "aye" and "nay."

What is the origin of this? Is there any reason those words are used in a voice vote (along with the occasional "yea") instead of "yes" and "no"?
Old 02-25-2005, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Portman Road
Posts: 17,369
A quick google suggests both words are of Norse origin. So I'd guess this would explain them being used by the post-1066 ruling classes of England. From there, it would make sense that they found their way into debating vocabularly, and into the earliest parliamentary proceedings. Once there, I'd presume they've simply remained, and influenced other voting procedures.
Old 02-25-2005, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 32,870
I don't know the answer, but I'd like to point out that in the U.S. Congress, they use "aye" for "yes," but "no" is just "no," not "nay." Odd.

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