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The real definition of maybe.

Have you ever stopped and thought about the word “maybe”? If you have, it will be no secret to you that it’s one of the most misused words in the English language. Let’s take a peek at the official definition:

Webster’s definitions of maybe (adv)

may·be [ máybee ]
  1. perhaps: expresses uncertainty
  2. neither yes nor no: used to give a response that is neither yes nor no
  3. introduces suggestions: used to introduce advice or suggestions
Synonyms: perhaps, possibly, it could be, perchance, mayhap

Now, let’s be honest about what the word “maybe” really means. Here is Danoah’s official definition:

Single Dad Laughing’s definitions of maybe (adv)

may·be [ máybee ]  

  1. to a Facebook event invitation: definite no, but I don’t want to be responsible for you realizing that nobody cares about your stupid event.
  1. to hanging out this weekend: guaranteed no, but I’ll string you along just in case I need you as my backup to my backup to my backup plan.
  2. a wife to her husband when he wants to “get it on”: no, no, and no, but I want you to do the dishes, so I’m going to pretend there’s a chance if you do everything I say tonight.  
  3. a parent to his child: nope, but I want you to stop nagging me about it for five freakin’ minutes.
  4. an employer to an employee: no, but at least you’ll feel like I contemplated your idiotic idea.
  5. a father to his teenage daughter: hellz bellz no, but I don’t want you going and getting pregnant because you’re mad that I straight up told you no about something.
  6. a mother to her teenage son: absofreakinlutely not, but I know what teenage idiots do when they’re mad at their parents, so “maybe” it is.
  7. a brother to his sister: no, but mom’s watching so I better act like my friends and I are going to include you.
  8. a butcher to a paranoid shopper: definite no, but I don’t want you not to buy my meat just because it’s not “organic”.
  9. a blog author to his number one stalker: freakin’ crap no. You want me to what?!

Synonyms: no, freakin’ heck no, absolutely not, never in a million years, get a life

I think I’m going to write Webster and see if they’ll let me take a crack at rewriting it. Haha. What are some other examples of maybe always meaning no?

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS, did you know that following Single Dad Laughing makes you a much cooler person?

PPS, be sure to vote on the new poll! You may need to vote again because I accidentally deleted it yesterday.

29 comments
Amy
Amy

Oh yeah you use that escape clause a lot with a toddler!

Pookie316
Pookie316

I never say maybe to sex, I don't understand why people do! Ugh... Lol

chrissyPWNS
chrissyPWNS

I personally like having sex with my husband so when I say maybe to "getting it on," what that really means is, "Yes - unless our mutual jobs of bringing in incomes, scooping the catbox after feeding said cats (you gotta take care of both ends), raising our almost-four-year-old, doing dishes, washing poop out of underwear (oh-mah-gah), deciding what to eat for dinner, and just generally getting through the day in something other than pajamas or kid flotsam - gets in the way/kills us both/exhausts us to nearly-dead." The actual sex is not usually the problem. It's doing anything other than crawling into bed and passing out at the end of the day. LOL

gsw399
gsw399 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@chrissyPWNS

Feel ya...then add a 3m old to that 4yr old issue

chrissyPWNS
chrissyPWNS

@gsw399

NO thank you! But all my blessings on you and yours whilst you endeavor! I am never bearing another child. LOL

gsw399
gsw399 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@chrissyPWNS @gsw399 lololololol! Thank you!! Someone who feels my pain! Lol. Jk. I love my girls...just took my second one long enough to get here.

sarah
sarah like.author.displayName 1 Like

If we got a maybe from mom we always went to dad and more then likely was an idiot and didn't talk to mom and we got whatever we wanted. bahaha

jennifer
jennifer

LMBO!! Too funny! So no, really?? Really?? LOL! You are hillarious, one of the best yet!! :)

Brenna
Brenna

Sometimes there just isn't time or words to explain why the answer is no. For example, if we're out and about and being told no to whatever will only cause a meltdown of acting out, I'll say maybe. Or if my son wants to hang out with someone who has decided to cut us from their life, and I haven't figured out how to explain the situation yet in a way that won't damage my son emotionally.

But I do my best to have maybe mean maybe, regardless of who I'm saying it to. You can tell my no maybes from my maybe maybes because the no will just be "Maybe." The maybe will be a little more specific: "Maybe. I need to think about that for a bit." "Maybe. It depends on how you are behaving, and if you get nap in time." "Maybe. I don't know how long our errands are going to take, or how I'll be feeling after they're done." "Maybe. You'll need to ask them and see what they think." Etc. You can also tell my yes maybe if you know me well, because my lips curl up a bit and sometimes my eyes twinkle mischievously (I have a horrible poker face).

Linda
Linda

"Maybe" almost always ends up being "yes" for me, because I'm too much of a pushover. Same with my mom--when she said "maybe" we all knew it was really a "yes"

Josie
Josie

I think this is a definite sign that people should start telling the truth to each other.
I try very hard, especially with my kids, to make maybe really mean maybe. Because little white lies, after all, are lies. And I want my kids to be respectful, responsible, and reliable even in their words. Much Love, Love Much

Susie
Susie

Hah, my 4 year old tries to twist it his way. Maybe usually means no, but to my little kids, they still think it means there's a chance and that I'm contemplating their idiotic ideas, while really I'm just hoping they'll forget about it before I have to actually say no way. Like "I'm going to go dig a secret tunnel in our back yard that goes to a big underground room where I'll take my friends to have secret meetings. Think I can do it?" "Hmmm...maybe after dinner."

My 4 year old, Z, however, often gets confused about the meanings of words, so he tells me his particular definition. Very entertaining. Like when Dad said the no-no word CRAP and Z said, "That's Spanish for crab, right?" He told me that "maybe" actually means "yes." Which is why I found him digging a hole in the back yard after dinner.

Karen
Karen

I know of very few (read: zero) circumstances where "maybe" ever translated to "yes."

Brenna
Brenna

I can think of a couple, most involving presents for Christmas or birthdays. Also, when I want to surprise my kids with a special outing, but don't want to tell where we're going so they keep guessing all along the way. Best feeling in the world, when they finally realize that the surprise is better than they were thinking. When they get older, I think a few times I'll start driving in big circles for a little while to build the anticipation more . . .

Jenny
Jenny

I have actually used maybe that translated to yes, but they are few and far between... :D

Single Dad Laughing
Single Dad Laughing

And then there was the time when I was a born and my parents looked at me and asked if I was a boy, and the doctor said "maybe".

He Who Laughs Last
He Who Laughs Last

Loud and clear...no ones ever said "freakin' crap no" to me...I get it! :-)
Loved this post...

Single Dad Laughing
Single Dad Laughing

Haha, thanks! Glad to be able to educate you. Even more glad to have you visit!

@eyemjenna
@eyemjenna

Your insight is so dead on ^_^ Thank you for my daily smile!!!!!

langela
langela

My kids have learned what they think maybe means and when I tell them maybe they run away celebrating, saying, "She didn't say no! She didn't say no!" And then my oldest ruins it by stating, "Maybe really means no, guys." We've had to switch to "possibly" or" perhaps", but they are going to catch on to those soon so I think I need a thesaurus.

jessica
jessica

I never liked (and still don't) maybe. I would rather be told "no" than "maybe". I guess my mom was lucky, she did not need the thesaurus.

Single Dad Laughing
Single Dad Laughing

There is one thing for sure. Children adapt. The game of parenting is a constant one.

MT2B
MT2B

#3 and #4 get used around here daily!

Tomi Ann
Tomi Ann

Dead on, bro... maybe.

Single Dad Laughing
Single Dad Laughing

So, what you're saying is I'm really dead off? Or alive on... I'm not sure.

Salt
Salt

Oh. So I guess you really meant "no" then.

*sadface*

Single Dad Laughing
Single Dad Laughing

Haha, Salt, I hope you're not talking about what I think you're talking about...