Query: Jim Cramer's "Booyah!"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Dec 10 02:48:23 UTC 2005

On 12/8/05, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Query: Jim Cramer's "Booyah!"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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":
> http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:lxfibkj96akz~T1
> 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

In my youth - the late '50's - in Los Angeles, dye-yaow [daiyaw] was an
echoic term used to imitate the sound of a handgun being fired and was used
as slang term meaning "exceptionally good(-looking)." (From Standard English
exclamation dye! + yaow).


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