An obsolete form of survey, apparently, from about 200 years before the window tax.
One could think of it as the vey in the expression vey iz mir, but this is not the vey I have in mind. (By the way, some people seem to think that this is what Jewish people say, vey iz mir. I'm afraid I have news for you: Jewish people do not say this as a matter of course, nor do people who consider themselves Jewish necessarily include the word oy in their personal lexicons.)
On another note, today marks the day that this site has registered 1,000 unique visitors.