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Posted by Fred Donehoo on February 21, 2004

In Reply to: Hoo-ah! posted by Smokey Stover on February 21, 2004

: : Has it occurred to anyone else that the American service personnel's "Hoo-ah!" may be a corruption of the English shout, "Hear, Hear," meaning roughly, "Listen to what the man is saying," and is pronounced "Hee-ah, Hee-ah" in parliament.

: Not me. It sounds more like a corruption (!) of "Hoo-ee!" American popular speech is full of interjections (or ejaculations?) which are not contingent on any actual words, but sound more like the directions you might give, say, to a team of horses. Yee-hah! Doesn't that sound like something a teamster would say, a bit like an alternative to Giddy-ap? Then there's "Whoa," very popular nowadays, not to be confused with "Whoo-ee," similar to but not the same as "Whoopee." I once had a neighbor who called his pigs with something like "Hoo-ee" (but not quite--the exact expression is still used only for calling pigs). SS

My own suspicion is that many of our traditional
"ejaculations" are less spontaneous and "natual" than we think, and are, in fact, corruptions from earlier (and much more literate) times. FD