Hip, Hip, Hooray

Posted by ESC on March 06, 2000

In Reply to: Hip, Hip, Hooray posted by Joyce Thatcher on March 06, 2000

: I was told that "Hip, Hip, Hooray" somehow originated from the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Does anyone else know anything about this? Thanks in advance for any answers!

HIP! HIP! HURRAH! - "The old story here can be taken for what it's worth, which isn't much. Hip, we're told, derives from the initials of the Latin words 'Hiersolyms est perdita,' 'Jerusalem is destroyed.' German knights, not a very bright bunch, were supposed to have known this and shouted 'hip, hip!' When they hunted Jews in the persecutions of the Middle Ages. 'Hurrah!' by the same strained imagining, is said to be a corruption of the Slavonic word for Paradise (hu-raj). Therefore, if you ever shout 'hip! hip! hurrah!' You are supposedly shouting: 'Jerusalem is destroyed (the infidels are destroyed) and we are on the road to Paradise!' There is not the slightest proof of any this, and the phrase, which doesn't date back earlier than the late 18th century, almost certainly comes to us from the exclamation 'hip, hip, hip!' earlier used in toasts and cheers, and 'huzza,' an imitative sound expressing joy and enthusiasm. From Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).