In the No Doubt song Oi to the World are the following words spoken:

He'd say "Oi to the punks and Oi to the skins

But Oi to the world and everybody wins"

So what does the phrase mean? It seems to mean "screw them" in the first 2 instances, but that doesn't fit in with the last one.


oi: —noun
a type of punk rock featuring violent, racist lyrics, associated esp. with skinheads.

oi or oy: —interjection
used to express surprise, pain, grief, worry, etc.

oi (World English Dictionary):

— interj
1. (Brit ) a cry used to attract attention, esp in an aggressive way

— adj
2. of or relating to a form of punk rock popular esp among skinheads in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Word Origin & History:

oi: 1962, vulgar or working class pronunciation of hoy a call or shout to attract attention.

oy: Yiddish exclamation of dismay, 1892, Amer.Eng. Extended form oy vey (1959) includes Yiddish vey , from Ger. Weh "woe"

Wikipedia entry for Oi!:
Oi! is a working class street-level subgenre of punk rock that originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. The music and associated subculture had the goal of bringing together punks, skinheads and other non-aligned working class youths (sometimes called herberts).

So in that song, it must have been used as a music subgenre.

  • how does that explain the last line, though? the song is anti-skinhead, not pro-. – Claudiu Oct 25 '10 at 21:08
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    So do not only say OI to skins and punks to bring them together but say OI to the world and bring everyone together – mplungjan Jan 31 '11 at 13:58
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    I'd say its used as both as the subgenre and the interjection, and of course the play on words with joy to the world. – jk. Jan 31 '11 at 16:54
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    oi to the fishes in the deep blue sea; oi to you and me. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 7 '12 at 20:25

Haji was a punk just like any other boy And he never had no trouble till he started up his Oi band

Haji is Asian and here punk can also mean
b. a young ruffian; hoodlum.
c. an inexperienced youth.

and he starts a band that plays OI music - something that is not appreciated by the local skins and punk-rockers once he plays it publicly, gets attacked, attacks back with a saber, sees the xmas light and helps the skinhead Trevor... So OI (Joy) to the world :)


1) That is a Vandals song which No Doubt covered, as an homage and a message. You should pick up that album, it's fantastic and hilarious. Way lewd though, not for listening to around the kiddies.

2) It's okay if you didnt know whose song it actually is lol I aim to inform, not criticize :) Punk and its lore are often obscure.

It's also okay if you didnt know (to the first responder on this thread) that there are several different kinds of skinheads in punk rock. Most actually are very vocally ANTI racism, but there are some bad eggs out there too for sure. They're usually really easy to tell apart if you know what to look for.

As for Oi music, the violence is less a part of this subculture than it used to be, but it's really dependent on the individual band. The main themes tend to be brotherhood and family, unions, strength of the working man type stuff.

3) There's a bunch of punk history about why we say Oi Oi!, but it boils down to some of our favorite bands started it (Cockney Rejects, Ramones, amongst others) and there's often a callback/response at punk shows which is so rad and so much fun.

4) All of the other person's answers sum up the rest.

5) "Oi to the world and everybody wins" is talking about another huge theme in 3rd wave+ (so late 80s into 90s, onward) punk rock, which is Unity. The real punks (except for the piece of crap GG Allin set, essentially the Nihilists) believe in helping each other, in service, in peace and unity amongst humankind. It's an inclusive statement meaning we can all be brought together because we are all different and yet all the same.


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