This was a recent request from one of our YouTube channel subscribers.
This one is a little hard to explain, but mostly because of one thing you must remember:
Before you read this whole article, I want to make sure you understand that this is not a normal sentence. So, we can study it together. But you will probably never actually speak this sentence, when talking with a native English speaker. It’s funny because it was the first time any native English speaker had heard this combination of words! This is a common theme with FRIENDS. You will hear a sentence, and you will hear the audience laugh loudly, but you won’t understand. You try to Google it, but there are no results. That’s why. Some of the Friends jokes are funny because they are playing with the English language.
Still, you came here to learn. So, let’s deconstruct this sentence, so you can understands why it was said. So, let’s break the sentence into three parts:
You don’t get a lot of + doy + these days.
1. You Don’t Get a Lot of
You probably already know that “to get” means “to receive”. You can “get” all kinds of things: you can get money, you can get good school grades, you can get a notification on your phone.
But in this case, when Chandler says “to get”, he means “to hears someone say”. So, literally, you’re receiving some words, through your sense of hearing 👂←📣←👄.
Interesting fact: You can use “to get” for most of your senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching. But when you use “to get” for your senses, it usually sounds funny, weird and pretentious. (Remember, Chandler’s sentence is supposed to be weird and funny!).
🍷 Using “get” for sense of taste and smell.
When drinking wine, native English speakers will say “I’m getting…”, as in this sample video, “I’m getting a hint of…” at 0:12. Notice that this video is also comedy!! 😆
🔮 Using “get” for your “sixth sense” (psychic abilities).
Sometimes in Western Culture we talk about a “sixth sense” – the ability to read minds. In this case we can also use the word “get”, as in this sample video, where she says “I’m getting…”, many times. Again, it’s comedy! 😁
🗣 Using “get” for hearing something people say
This isn’t something people say very often. But it does happen. It was hard to find examples on the Internet. Most of the examples come from interviews in magazines or newspaper articles.
“I get a lot of, ‘Why do you get your nails done?'”
Paper Magazine, ‘Kehlani: the Softer Side of Savage’ by Claire Valentine,
““I get a lot of, ‘Oh, you can keep the bills,’” Kenny says.
Mental Floss, ’14 Secrets of U.S. Postal Carriers’, by Jake Rossen
“If you get a lot of ‘Maybe that sounds okay,’ you probably don’t have a great idea.”
FastCompany.com, ‘How To Know If Your Dumb Idea Will Change The World’, by Evie Nagy
In all three of these quotes, the meaning is really closer to
you don’t get a lot of (people saying)
This is actually much easier to Google than the above three quotes. Go ahead a do a search for it. You’ll see sentences like this:
“You get a lot of people saying ‘oh, I wish I could do that’.”
Virgin.com, ‘Is LA really the ‘hottest place in the world’ for social entrepreneurship? | Virgin’, by Jack Preston
So, if you think of Friends, and Chandler, I hope it’s a little more clear to you, if you change his sentence so that it reads:
“You don’t get a lot of people saying ‘doy’ these days.”
The meaning of doy is “obviously, yes”. It’s perhaps a little bit rude and offensive. When you make this sound, you are imitating a person who is not able to speak! So the meaning is “I’m so stupid that I can’t speak words. But I can still understand this idea, even though I’m so stupid.”
I have one video example here, from the American cartoon Rick and Morty. The father says “duh-doy” (the same as “doy”, really). It means, “Yes, it’s obvious!”.
3. These Days
When you say “these days” it makes you sound intelligent, because you are commenting on the world in general. Usually only philosophers, or old men with a drink in their hand say “these days”.
So, usually when someone says “these days”, they are saying something serious or important. “These days, cars are made of plastic and cheap metal!”. But in this case, Chandler is talking about something very unimportant – something very silly. The fact that nobody says “doy” anymore. That’s why it’s funny.
Chandler is also quite correct. Nobody says “doy” anymore.
Even in 1994, people didn’t say it very often.
So, now you know how to recognize and understand the sentence “you don’t get a lot of…”.
But honestly, don’t worry about learning how to say this phrase. It’s weird, and there are so many other more natural ways for you to express this idea – trust that you already know a very good alternative to this, and use that alternative instead! 🙂
Oh! And, please let me know if this was helpful.
I don’t get a lot of “thank you so much” these days. 🤣🤣🤣