aye-aye

A nautical term. When an officer or enlisted Marine receives orders of instruction, the Marine replies, "Aye-aye, sir," meaning: "Yes, I understand the orders I have received and will carry them out." Never permit a subordinate to acknowledge an order by "very well," "all right," "yes" or "OK." "Aye" said by itself means one agrees. Aye-aye is generally supposed to be a corruption of the words yea, yea. The claim is advanced that Cockney (true Londoners born within the sound of the bells of St. Mary Le Bow (Bow Bells), Cheapside, in the city of London) accents changed the Yea to Yi, and from there it was a simple transition to aye.