This meme, as you may know, is one of my recent favorites, but I haven’t entirely said why until now. So, here I go.
Now as I understand it, the originating Vine video was made without any particular thought process as to the sound to shout when throwing the empty can, but I find it utterly charming that they somehow chose this particular sound.
There are several cognates in English to yeet (some of them are simply due to misspelling, as certain words, like “yet” were pronounced differently and then spelled according to phonetics, and so “yeet”), but let me touch upon one:
ȝeten (or yeten in modern script)
This is quite an old word, dating to Old English, back through Frisian and proto-Germanic to the Indus. It is an ancient word.
- to pour
- to flow
- to scatter
- to mould
It links with others (gjuta, eyet, yit, yete) that come from metallurgy and have to do with pouring or moulding molten metals.
Somehow…without knowing the history (I presume), this child emptied out a can and said the precise word that meant “to pour”.