Posted by James Briggs on September 18, 2004
In Reply to: Hokey-pokey posted by platypus on September 18, 2004
: : Could anyone tell me what "hokey-pokey" means?
: : -You can't play "hokey-pokey" with my husband.
: : =a children's dance? a hoax?
: : thanks
: The hokey-pokey is a children's game/dance. It goes like this:
: you put your left hand in, you put you left hand out, you do the hokey-pokey and you shake it all about, you do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around...that's what it's all about!!
: The dance continues with other body parts. Hokey-pokey with someone's spouse is the same as hanky-panky, fooling around.
To get up to some hanky panky implies some sort of underhand dealing or cheating. I can't find a certain origin, but the expression has been compared with Hocus Pocus, the start of a mock Latin phrase used by conjurers with the object of distracting the audience from any slight-of-hand. Our word Hoax is probably derived from this mock-Latin and Hanky panky possibly a variant.
See Hanky-panky - meaning and origin.