Query: Jim Cramer's "Booyah!"

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Dec 9 02:34:44 UTC 2005

On 12/8/05, Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> On Thu, 8 Dec 2005, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
> >    Would anyone know the origin of Cramer's "Booyah"?  Is he the only
> > one who uses this interjection (besides the people who have picked it up
> > from him)?  Did he perhaps just invent the term himself?
> When I read this message my first reaction was that Stuart Scott's life
> has been in vain.  Then I did a little Nexis research, which seems to
> suggest that the term has its origins as an inner-city exclamation
> showing up by 1991.  You ought to get around a little bit more, Jerry.

I think Scott started using it on SportsCenter in the mid- to late
'90s (and continues to do so, tiresomely, to this day). So that would
have been well after the original popularization of the interjection
in hiphop circles by the Samoan rap group Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. circa
1990. All Music Guide says the name derives from "a slang term for
discharging a shotgun":


Cassell's agrees:

     booya! booyah! [1980s] 1. (US Campus) a term used to
     indicate suddenness or surprise 2. (US Black gang)
     an echoic term used to imitate the sound of a
     shotgun being fired (cf Booyaka!) (From Standard
     English exclamation boo! + yah).

--Ben Zimmer

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