I've recently heard somebody answered "Yes, perhapsy."

Or could it be "perhapsee"?

Could this be used as a slang term for "perhaps"?

It happened in NYC area a few weeks ago.

  • I lived in NY for two years and never heard this expression.
    – virmaior
    Jan 9 '14 at 7:37
  • @virmaior The person was a young black boy. Could it be ebonics?
    – Derfder
    Jan 9 '14 at 7:52
  • What was the question he was replying to? I don't suppose it could have been a contraction of "perhaps he..."?
    – IQAndreas
    Jan 9 '14 at 12:57
  • 3
    It's merely a case of "y-fying" perhaps (on the lines of iffy). Not slang really, not widely used, but will always be understood. "Is he coming the party?" "Yes, perhapsy." (Yes, but then again, maybe, kind of may come. There's a chance he may not, you know ...)
    – Kris
    Jan 9 '14 at 13:01
  • Reminds me of the British mannerism of adding -ish to arbitrary adjectives to denote vagueness. Like soonish. I think I even heard peckish-ish once.
    – user86291
    Jul 31 '14 at 12:07

To directly answer, A quick googling (perhapsie, perhapsy, perhapsee) suggests that the word you heard is not widely used to mean "perhaps", although it might catch on at some point!

(Notably, Perhapsy is the name of a band which might be occluding results for that form)

Also, kind of tangentially, I don't think that this kind of usage is really "slang". In order to be slang, I think it would have to be further abstracted from the accepted normal word: see drug slang like "blow"="cocaine", "molly"="MDMA". It looks more like an ad-hoc construction from "perhaps", with the intention of seeming more casual or cute, perhapsie.

Also also, in response to your comment above, "ebonics" is not a widely accepted term for the variety of English spoken by, among other people, black urban youth. See Wikipedia: African American Vernacular English


It sounds like a contraction of perhaps so

A: Did they know where she was?
B: Perhaps so --> Perhapsy

A: Will he pass?
B: Perhaps so --> Perhapsy

A possible spelling variation might be: perhapsi rather than perhapsee. It also reminds me of pepsi. Words ending in double e are rare in English although not unheard of, committee being one that springs to mind.


I would say it's most likely to be a personal or family idiom rather than slang. Some people like to play with language and come up with their own variants. For example, my own family calls milk "bookum bookum" (long story).

Yes, sometimes a term like that will catch on and become slang for a community (whether large or small). I'd say the "perhapsie" won't catch on fast, but you never know.


I found the word perhapsy in title of e.e. cummings's poem "warped this perhapsy".

I have used perhapsy to name my music project based in Oakland, CA, although it originated in Ann Arbor, MI while I attended The University of Michigan School of Music.

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