The following quote is from a book that teaches assembly language. My question is about the "when it's three ayem".

Assembly-time warnings are the assembler acting as experienced consultant, and hinting that something in your source code is a little dicey. This something may not be serious enough to cause the assembler to stop assembling the file, but it may be serious enough for you to take note and investigate. For example, NASM will flag a warning if you define a named label but put no instruction after it. That may not be an error, but it’s probably an omission on your part, and you should take a close look at that line and try to remember what you were thinking when you wrote it. (This may not always be easy, when it’s three ayem or three weeks after you originally wrote the line in question.)

From what I have gathered from Google I suppose that "three ayem" is slang for "three a.m.", and that here in the context it means "when it's late in the day (and you thus might have problems concentrating)". Is my assumption correct?


1 Answer 1


Your assumption is correct. "Ayem" is a phonetic representation of "AM". Writing it to mean "morning" is, according to Variety magazine, its own invention. There are many others. Variety is a famous American show business magazine. It calls the vocabulary thus created "slanguage":

ayem — A Variety coinage meaning morning (a.m.); “Barbara Walters is producing a new ayem skein for ABC.”

Variety slanguage A-Z

Almost from its launch in 1905, Variety has used its own, distinctive slanguage in headlines and stories, words like ankle, which refers to someone leaving (say, walking away from) a job, or whammo, which refers to something terrific, especially box office performance. In part it was a device to fit long words into small headlines, but it was also to create a clubby feel among the paper’s entertainment industry readers. People in the business understood thrush; those outside the business, well, they weren’t Variety’s target readers anyway.

  • I wouldn't have guessed this specific origin; it reminds me a bit of the words coined by MAD Magazine. Thanks for supplying the background. Mar 31, 2019 at 15:12
  • I had never heard of 'ayem' until today. Mar 31, 2019 at 15:23

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