Why do mountain bikers say yew? 🚴(Explanation)

Mountain bikers often yell “yew” when they are riding by a tree. This is because it is a lot easier to say than the more formal, “you”. Mountain bikers say yew because it is the sign for a downhill turn. When mountain bikers are about to go down a steep hill, they will signal their upcoming turn by saying yew.

The word ‘yew’ is an old English word instead of ‘you’ that people used to say back in the past. The two words are pronounced identically and, over time, people started to use yew as a substitute for the word you.

This phrase can also be used by mountain bikers when they are frustrated with another rider. It is used to show disapproval.

The phrase is made up of the word ‘yew’ which sounds like ‘you’. The phrase can be translated to mean ‘why would you do that?’

“Yew” Can be used in other sports as well

People who do water sports like windsurfers and surfing in general, often shout “Yew” when they head for a big wave. Snowboarders, skiers, and rock climbers say “yew” too before a jump or in the middle of a jump.

In addition, you can hear this phrase and in some more sports but most of the time you will hear it from a mountain biker, surfer, skier or snowboarder.

Here’s a Youtube video that explains when people use “Yew” in a humorous way:

Other meanings of “Yew”

The word yew is a symbol of strength and immortality. It is because the yew tree has the longest life expectancy among all other trees and because it never dies.

Yew is also one of the most popular trees in cemeteries because people believe that deaths come less often to those who dwell near it.

This paper is about the use of “yew” in conversational English. It will explore why people say “yew” and also what the etymology of this word is.

The word “yew” has many meanings in modern English. It can be used as an adverb to mean “yes”, as a noun to describe a type of tree, or as an adjective to refer to a type of colour. The word has origins that go back to Germanic languages and it shares a root with words like German “Ja” and Dutch “Jaap” which means yes.

The word “yew” is an interesting choice. There are a few theories as to why it is used and the one that sounds the most plausible is that it’s a phonetic spelling of “you.” As we mentioned before, back in the day, people didn’t speak as clearly as they do today. This would make them sound like they were saying “yew.”

This could also be because back in the day people had different accents and sounds for words may not have been as distinct as they are today.


Summing up, in this article we have explained the meaning of the word “yew”, its origins, meanings and why Mountain bikers often say it. Moreover, this phrase is not only used in mountain biking. If you have any questions feel free to contact us and share our article if you found it useful.

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